Jonah (c. 1885) by Albert Pinkham Ryder

Jonah - Albert Pinkham Ryder - 1895

Artwork Information

ArtistAlbert Pinkham Ryder
MediumOil on Canvas mounted on fiberboard
Dimensions27 1/4 x 34 3/8 in. (69.2 x 87.3 cm)
Art MovementSymbolism
Current LocationNational Museum of American Art, Washington

About Jonah

The artwork entitled “Jonah” is a creation by the artist Albert Pinkham Ryder, dated to the year 1895. Executed in oil on canvas, which is subsequently mounted on fiberboard, this piece is an instantiation of the Symbolism art movement. The dimensions of the artwork are 27 1/4 x 34 3/8 inches (69.2 x 87.3 cm), and it falls within the genre of religious painting. Presently, “Jonah” is part of the collection at the National Museum of American Art, which is located in Washington.

“Jonah” by Albert Pinkham Ryder presents a moody and atmospheric interpretation of the Biblical narrative where Jonah is swallowed by a great fish. The painting exudes a mystical quality, characteristic of Ryder’s work and the Symbolist movement, which often delved into themes beyond the tangible world. Composed with somber hues and a swirling composition that embodies the tumultuous ocean, the artwork conveys a profound sense of drama and divine intervention. Ryder’s brushwork and use of light create a dynamic interplay between the focal figure of Jonah and the encompassing abstract forms, which could be seen as the churning sea or the very insides of the fish that consumed him. This vivid depiction elevates the religious story to a universal contemplation on fate, redemption, and the human condition.

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