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Southern Landscape (Southern Flood)

Eldzier Cortor

American Art

Already committed to a realistic style and to African American subjects, Eldzier Cortor was on his way to the Georgia Sea Islands when he was inspired to paint this image. A languid young couple is shown picnicking before the backdrop of a valley that has been flooded to construct a hydroelectric dam. Cortor endowed the muscular figures with a calm stoicism, modeling their facial features on the fixed and powerful forms of African masks. According to the artist, “[It] was created from my feelings in the face of devastation, and the two figures represent youth with hope.”
MEDIUM Tempera and gesso on board
DATES ca. 1944–1945
DIMENSIONS 20 x 34 in. (50.8 x 86.4 cm) frame: 26 x 40 x 1 1/2 in. (66 x 101.6 x 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Adler and bequest of Laura L. Barnes, by exchange
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Eldzier Cortor (American, 1916–2015). Southern Landscape (Southern Flood), ca. 1944–1945. Tempera and gesso on board, 20 x 34 in. (50.8 x 86.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Adler and bequest of Laura L. Barnes, by exchange, 2006.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2006.2_PS1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2006.2_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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