after: "Punishment of Korah" by Domenico Beccafumi (1537) and "The Banjo Player" by William Sydney Mount (1855) This image really began with my knowledge of the American artist of the source painting - William Sydney Mount. While Mount is acknowledged as one of the first painters to present African- Americans in a positive light, his beliefs about slavery were at odds with Abraham Lincoln's. In response, he seems to have wrestled with the good and evil aspects of his beliefs. The imagery of Moses on his knees (from Domenico Beccafumi's Punishment of Korah, Dathan and Abiram) comes from a similar narrative about a struggle between good and evil. In it, Moses' divine connections were challenged by tribal leaders and as a result the earth split open and swallowed the malicious contenders, leaving only the good. William Sydney Mount's painting of The Banjo Player serves as a stage that hints at both something positive (the musical reference) and something negative (figures emerging on their knees, as if being released from captivity.) The musical poster (from 1979) is intentionally playful to offset the otherwise tense environment and may reference Lincoln's action here, a similarity between Moses' bearded likeness and that of Charlie Daniels, or the connection between a "pure prairie" and the gathered hay in the background.
About The Gallery
JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is a collective environment of creative visions featuring monthly exhibitions of (inter)national, emerging to established, contemporary artists.