"The Abbey of La Trappe, in the Department of the Orne, in Normandy, traces its history from 1122, at a place called La Trappe where a chapel was built by Comte Rotrou III du Perche in memory of his deceased wife Mathilde, granddaughter of William the Conqueror. In 1140, monks from the nearby Abbey of Breuil-Benoît, in the Benedictine Congregation of Savigny, began a monastic community at La Trappe. Seven years later, during a century of great expansion of Cistercian monasticism throughout Europe, the Congregation of Savigny joined the Cistercian Order, which dates from the founding of the Abbey of Cîteaux, in Burgundy, in 1098.
Frère Marc, the ascetic, bearded guestmaster, stands in the foreground of the superb drawing Two Trappist Monks at Vigils, 1982, (fig. 5). The monks wear voluminous, thick, woolen cowls with long sleeves that cover their arms and hands. The predominant use of bistre chalk, blended tonal passages of bistre and black chalks, and reserved areas of the gray paper imbue the drawing with a nocturnal quality, as in the related drawing from the artist's sojourn that December at the Abbey of La Trappe, Père Robert at Vigils, in the collection of the Albertina, Vienna, (fig. 7, below).
1. The Oxford scholar and Benedictine monk Dom Bernard Green read a draft of Roseman's manuscript and wrote in a gracious letter
to the artist: "You portray the background and the aims of life in monasteries so well, showing such a deep understanding of the monastic life.''
2. L. Aubry, Abbaye de La Trappe, (Rouen: C.R.D.P, 1979), pp. 3, 4, 5.
3. L'Abbaye Notre Dame de la Grande-Trappe, authored anonymously by a monk of La Trappe (Orne: Montligeon, 1926), pp. 65, 76, 78.
4. Louis J. Lekai, The Cistercians, (Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1977), pp. 188, 189.
5. Psalm 119 in the Hebrew Bible is numbered Psalm 118 in the Vulgate.
6. Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1962), The Community Rule, pp. 97-123.
7. Philo of Alexandria, The Contemplative Life and selected writings, translation by David Winston, (Paulist Press, New York, 1981), pp. 41-57.
8. The Lives of the Desert Fathers, translated by Norman Russell, (Oxford: Mowbray, and Michigan: Cistercian Studies, 1980), pp. 111, 112, 134.
9. Psalm 51 in the Hebrew Bible is numbered Psalm 50 in the Vulgate. The Rule of St. Benedict uses the Vulgate Bible numbering of the Psalms.
10. The Lives of the Desert Fathers, pp. 3, 65, 106, 114, 115, 149, 155.
11. Robert A. Barakat, Cistercian Sign Language, (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1975), p. 24.
12. Lekai, The Cistercians, pp. 372, 373.
13. Barakat, Cistercian Sign Language, p. 25.
14. Stanley Roseman - Dessins sur la Danse à l'Opéra de Paris, (text in French and English) (Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 1996), p. 11.