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The Deposition

Bob Thompson, American, 1937 - 1966

Made in United States, North and Central America


Oil on canvas

66 inches × 6 feet 3 1/2 inches (167.6 × 191.8 cm)

© Estate of Bob Thompson, Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York

Curatorial Department:
Contemporary Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Purchased with funds contributed by Harvey S. Shipley Miller and J. Randall Plummer, and with funds raised in honor of the 125th Anniversary of the Museum and in celebration of African American art, 2000

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Bob Thompson painted The Deposition in 1961, the year he moved to Paris. It was at this time that the artist began to create religious scenes based on Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings he saw at the Musée du Louvre. Inspired by the vibrant works of Paul Gauguin and Henri Matisse, Thompson reinterpreted the Louvre paintings with vivid colors, flat shapes, and limited anatomical detail. Thompson linked his appropriation of traditional imagery to the methods of jazz musicians, who constantly reinvent musical compositions through spontaneous improvisation.