Noah’s Ark (1927) by Aaron Douglas

Noah's Ark - Aaron Douglas - 1927

Artwork Information

TitleNoah's Ark
ArtistAaron Douglas
Dimensions121 x 91 cm
Art MovementArt Deco, Synthetic Cubism, Harlem Renaissance

About Noah's Ark

The artwork titled “Noah’s Ark” was created by the artist Aaron Douglas in 1927. The medium of this historical painting is oil, and it measures 121 by 91 centimeters. The art style of the piece is influenced by Art Deco, Synthetic Cubism, and the Harlem Renaissance.

The artwork presents a stylized depiction of the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. Douglas uses geometric shapes and a restricted color palette to create a scene that is abstract yet recognizably narrative. The central form, which appears to be the ark, is rendered with facets emphasizing the angular nature of Cubism. Figures of animals, in simplified form, are shown ascending the plank into the ark, conveying the story of animals entering in pairs before the great flood. The human figures bear a distinct silhouette, with one prominently placed at the top of the ark, likely representing Noah, who gestures to an unseen point beyond the confines of the canvas.

The color scheme is characterized by cool shades, with a dominance of blues and grays, creating an atmosphere that alludes to the solemnity of the event and the impending deluge. The light source, possibly divine in nature, illuminates the scene from above, casting an ethereal glow that further enhances the spiritual emergent narrative. The dynamism inherent in the swirling patterns of the background suggests the chaotic forces of nature and the transformative power of the biblical event. Douglas’ work encapsulates the themes and aesthetics of his time, while also contributing to the visual narrative of African American art and identity during the Harlem Renaissance.

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