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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

* Collab Gallery, Perelman Building, first floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Priscilla T. Grace, 2003

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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.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.