A Praying Cartusian monk by Claude II Audran


A fine example of simple and moving religious imagery, meant to support prayer and meditation, two mainstays of spiritual life in the 17th century.

A Praying Cartusian monk by Claude II Audran.

Claude II Audran

Lyon 1639 – Paris 1684

A Praying Cartusian monk

Inscribed CL. Audran lower right with pen and brown ink. Numbered N. 246 on the verso lower left.

Red chalk, slightly heightened with white. Framing lines with pen and brown ink.

163 x 123 mm – 6,42 x 4,84 in.

Wearing a “cuculle” (sort of overshirt with a hook) over his white robe, this monk can be identified as a Carthusian monk from St Bruno’s order, therefore devoted to silence and solitude, to finding a balance between eremitical and cenobitic monasticism. 

Audran collaborated with Louis de Licherie to the decors of the Bourgfontaine Charterhouse; he then may have had the occasion to draw praying monks. A drawing in the Turin Biblioteca Reale shows a very close but more finished composition, the saint being placed in a wooded landscape. By comparison to St Bruno praying in the desert painted by Nicolas Mignard in 1638 (Avignon, Calvet museum) in which the emotional contemplation shifts towards a certain pathos, Audran’s approach shows a path towards a more interiorized contemplation

Condition report – The sheet is pasted on another sheet and laid down on a mount. Good overall condition.