Object Image

The Judgment Day

Aaron Douglas painted The Judgment Day in 1939, more than a decade after creating the book illustration on which the painting is based. In 1927 Douglas had provided eight strikingly original illustrations for a collection of poems titled God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse by James Weldon Johnson. Executed in a style that reflected the influence of German émigré Winold Reiss, Douglas’s artistic mentor, as well as the artist’s own study of African art and European modernism, the illustrations marked the advent of Douglas’s mature style. Over a period of several years, Douglas translated his original book illustrations into large oil paintings. The Judgment Day is the final painting in ...

Oil on tempered hardboard
121.9 x 91.4cm
Image and text © National Gallery of Art, 2020

Where you'll find this

National Gallery of Art
Permanent collection