How a Photograph Solved an Art Mystery

Discussion in 'Arts & Crafts' started by Disir, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. Disir
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    Disir Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Born in Pittsburgh and raised in Philadelphia, African-American artist Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859–1937) spent his mature career in France, where he won great fame for paintings based on religious subjects. Tanner had left the United States in 1891 to escape racial prejudice and find artistic opportunity. From the 1890s until his death, Tanner’s allegiances remained divided between his adopted home in France and his origins in the United States. In a series of biblically-themed paintings produced across his four decades in Europe, Tanner repeatedly acknowledged this experience of being a sojourner abroad, separated from his birthplace.

    A discovery I recently made in the Tanner papers at the Archives of American Art provides new information about two of the artist’s paintings—one of them long thought to be lost, and the other under-studied and little-understood. This revelation also enriches our understanding of Tanner’s conflicted relationship with America, suggesting how the artist might have come to terms with his expatriate identity.
    How a Photograph Solved an Art Mystery


    That's an interesting find.
     
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  2. beautress
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    beautress Always Faithful Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the link, Disir. I'm glad the mystery of Henry Ossawa Tanner's Judas painting was solved when a photograph had shown that he likely used the canvas to do another painting. How sad the people who treated blacks badly antebellum and during the civil war era continuing the dismal practice on into decades, and that today society accepts and celebrates those who think out of the box like Mr. Tanner, who resolved his anger by going somewhere his work would receive the esteem it deserved. I'm sad he was compelled to stay away from the crassness and hatred of being denied when he had such wonderful gifts of giving the world thoughtful paintings that are classic in every way and even excel in the international arena. I will pray that people who suffer depression and who are betrayed by their own country will find peace, love, and salvation from sadness.
     
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