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Blue Snake
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Blue Snake

Romare Bearden, American, 1914 - 1988

Made in United States, North and Central America


Collage of printed papers with paint, graphite, porous-point pen, and surface abrasion (sanding) on board with prepared ground

Sheet (sight): 35 7/8 × 23 15/16 inches (91.1 × 60.8 cm)

© Romare Bearden Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Priscilla T. Grace, 2003

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african american art [x]   african american artist [x]   collage [x]   mixed media [x]   pelican [x]   snake [x]   us-born artist [x]  

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art Handbook (2014 Edition)

    Landscape is a rare subject among the coveted collages from the early 1970s by Romare Bearden, one of the most influential African American artists of his generation. In this dense, tapestry-like composition, a lush jungle of flora and fauna is punctuated by an African mask peering from behind a tree trunk, merging the natural with the spiritual. Collage was Bearden’s primary medium and his imagery reflects a rich cultural heritage shaped by his North Carolina birthplace, his childhood exposure to artists, writers, and musicians in Harlem, and African ritual traditions. His wide-ranging sources of inspiration included poetry, jazz, Chinese painting, medieval art, and Cubism. Shelley Langdale, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014, p. 378.