Moonlight, Hebron, ca. 1907
Oil on canvas
25 11/16 × 31 7/8 in. (65.25 × 80.96 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Whipple Dunbar M1920.1
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
The son of a prominent minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Pitttsburgh, Henry Ossawa Tanner was a respected painter who specialized in biblical and religious themes throughout his career. Here, Tanner focused on the effects of moonlight on the Palestinian city of Hebron, with dappled light and shrouded figures lending an air of spiritual mystery. After expatriating to France in 1891, hoping to escape the racism that had limited his career in the United States, Tanner traveled widely throughout North Africa and the Middle East in search of inspiration and subject matter.
Page, Hugh R., and Randall C. Bailey. The Africana Bible: Reading Israel's Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora. Minneapolis, Minn: Fortress Press, 2010, p. 213, fig. 26, color illus.
Mosby, Dewey F. Across Continents and Cultures: the Art and Life of Henry Ossawa Tanner. Kansas City, Missouri: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 1995, color illus. p. 55, p. 91.
Aaron, Ira E. Flying Hoofs. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman & Co., 1978, color illus. p. 407.
Mathews, Marcia M. Henry Ossawa Tanner: American Artist. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969, illus.
Spelman College. Henry Ossawa Tanner. Atlanta: Spelman College, 1969, cat. 14, illus.
Across Continents and Cultures: The Art and Life of Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, June 25–August 20, 1995; Dallas Museum of Art, September 14–December 31, 1995; Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, Illinois, January 12–May 5, 1996.
Henry Ossawa Tanner, Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia, March 30–April 30, 1969.
This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.