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The Judgement

Bob Thompson

Contemporary Art

The career of Bob Thompson, the noted African American artist, was cut short by his early death at the age of twenty-eight. Thompson was born near Louisville, Kentucky, and studied at the University of Louisville and at Boston University. In the early and mid-1960s, he traveled throughout Europe and experienced many Renaissance paintings and other artworks firsthand. He fused the vigor and vibrancy of Expressionism with themes from Old Master compositions and the vivid palette of Fauve painting to create the original visual vocabulary exemplified by The Judgment. Recalling such time-honored Old Master subjects as the Last Judgment and the Judgment of Paris, here a nude male trio sits before faceless winged female angels while two figures (at left) await judgment. The planar, flattened figures and compositional contours in a gesturally applied background are all equally emphasized.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1963
DIMENSIONS 60 x 84in. (152.4 x 213.4cm) frame: 60 3/4 x 84 5/8 x 2 in. (154.3 x 214.9 x 5.1 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Lower left: "B Thompson '63"
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
CREDIT LINE A. Augustus Healy Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Bob Thompson (American, 1937–1966). The Judgement, 1963. Oil on canvas, 60 x 84in. (152.4 x 213.4cm). Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund, 81.214. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 81.214_PS20.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 81.214_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © Estate of Bob Thompson, Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY
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