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Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

American Art
Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

Artwork Details


Henry Ossawa Tanner
American, 1859–1937




Tempera and varnish on cardboard

Accession #



20 3/8 x 36 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 308


Famous for his biblical paintings, Henry Ossawa Tanner painted Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah after two trips to Palestine. He used his favorite hue, the distinctive greenish-blue color dominating the sky, to portray the smoky conflagration engulfing the two cities. The painting’s abstraction and simplicity of form evoke a sense of interaction between the physical and spiritual worlds. Tanner downplays the presence of Lot and his daughters, barely visible at the lower right. His blend of tempera and oil unifies the composition and imparts an almost unearthly luminosity.


J. J. Haverty Collection

Image Copyright