The Crucifixion (1927) by Aaron Douglas

The Crucifixion - Aaron Douglas - 1927

Artwork Information

TitleThe Crucifixion
ArtistAaron Douglas
Art MovementArt Deco, Synthetic Cubism, Harlem Renaissance
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About The Crucifixion

The Crucifixion is a painting completed in 1927 by Aaron Douglas, which featured in James Weldon Johnson’s book of Negro spirituals, God’s Trombones. Douglas was a prominent figure within the Harlem Renaissance, using African-centric imagery to address social issues that African Americans were facing at the time. In this artwork, Douglas uses stylized human bodies and geometric forms like concentric circles to depict a clear-cut delineation between shadows and light, resulting in an energized composition. The use of complementary colors creates a distinctive visual impact. Having incorporated both Western academia and his African roots in his art, Douglas revolutionized African-American art as a viable and acceptable movement within Modern Art. This helped to bring the Black voice to national prominence. Douglas went on to create more works based on his original illustrations for God’s Trombones while still addressing race issues with his art through vivid colors and dynamic forms that became synonymous with his style. “The Crucifixion” is one of those significant pieces which have been acquired by both The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art”.

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