Christ and the Canaanite Woman
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Italian, 1530
Pen and light brown ink with light brown and gray wash, heightened with gouache, over black chalk
17 3/4 x 12 1/2 in.

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Scholars are uncertain of both the subject and the artist of this drawing. It seems to show a scene from the Gospel of Saint Matthew. When Christ and his disciples were on their way to Cana, they met a woman who begged Christ to heal her sick daughter. Ignoring the protests of his followers, who objected that the woman was not an Israelite, Christ performed the miracle.

With the top of the sheet cut into the shape of an arch, the balanced figures dominate the foreground plane. Behind them a rocky outcrop supports a cluster of trees, while the road winds across a river into the distance. To lighten the areas of darker wash, the artist used liberal amounts of white bodycolor in the landscape.