The Judgement Day Digital History ID 2509

The Judgement Day

Credit: Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art
Media type: painting
Museum Number:
Annotation: Aaron Douglas painted The Judgment Day in 1927 to coincide with James Weldon Johnson's poem of the same name. Illustrating life after death, the painting depicts how, on Judgment Day, souls are either condemned or redeemed depending on the behavior the person exhibited while living on earth. Archangel Gabriel stands with one foot on the mountaintop and the other in the sea. He is seen blowing a trumpet and holding the key to the Kingdom of Heaven. On the left side of the painting, a bolt of lightening is seen extending into the water. On the right side of the painting, a ray of light shines on the mountaintop.
Year: 1927

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