The unusual and otherworldly subject of a small mother-and-child group held aloft by two large disembodied hands in this drawing typifies the imagery of the artist and writer Kahlil Gibran. Like his fellow Symbolist Elihu Vedder (whose work is displayed nearby), Gibran was preoccupied with the transcendence of the soul and the universal experiences of love, spirituality, and the life cycle. The Burden alludes to themes of maternal responsibility and the role of a divine agent guiding human endeavors.
- Artist: Kahlil Gibran, American, born Lebanon, 1883-1931
- Medium: Watercolor and graphite on medium cream wove paper with watermarks
- Dates: 1919
- Dimensions: Sheet: 11 1/16 x 8 9/16 in. (28.1 x 21.7 cm) (show scale)
- Markings: Watermark in paper: "HIAWATHA BOND"
- Signature: Signed and dated lower right in graphite: "K. G. / 1919"
- Collections:American Art
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 21.277
- Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Frank L. Babbott
- Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
- Caption: Kahlil Gibran (American, born Lebanon, 1883-1931). The Burden, 1919. Watercolor and graphite on medium cream wove paper with watermarks, Sheet: 11 1/16 x 8 9/16 in. (28.1 x 21.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Frank L. Babbott, 21.277
- Record Completeness: Best (86%)