Sunday, April 7, 2013

Aspects of Negro Life, the Negro in an African Setting

 This painting, "Aspects of Negro Life, the Negro in an African Setting" by Aaron Douglas, portrays African people dancing a war dance in a reference to the African-American's original ancestors. In the background stand people with Egyptian headdresses, and the floating statue in the middle represents the importance of the African spirituality. The concentric circles and angular lines represent the movement of the music in the piece. It is the visual representation of African music. Also, the forms seem to connect to each other in the same way that the African-American people may be connected to the soil and old folk lore of Africa.

This piece was created during the Harlem Renaissance as a part of a panel of pieces called "Aspects of Negro Life". There are four panels altogether, and they tell the story of the African-Americans as their ancestors progressed from free Africa, to slavery in the United States, to freedom again after the civil war, and finally to their assimilation into Modern city life. It was commissioned by the New York Public Library in Harlem.

aaron douglas aspects of negro life; negro in an african setting

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