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Babylon, the Great, is Fallen

1992 Robert Roberg Born: Spokane, Washington 1943 acrylic, oil, tempera and glitter on canvas 39 7/8 x 39 3/4 in. (101.3 x 101.0 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment © ca. 1990, Robert Roberg 1997.124.28 Not currently on view

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"I have painted with the pure motives of sharing my visions of God with anyone who'll stop and look and listen." Robert Roberg, G. H. Vander Elst, Non-Traditional Folk Art, Tennessee (n.d.), Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, 1990-1999, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution "The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the Great was remembered in God's presence; He gave her the cup filled with the wine of His fierce anger." Revelation 16:19

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Robert Roberg painted many images of the Apocalypse to warn people of what could happen if they did not follow God. Babylon, the Great, is Fallen illustrates a scene from the book of Revelation in which Saint John describes the destruction of the city (Tom Patterson, Contemporary Folk Art, Treasures of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2001). In Revelation, Babylon appears as a temptress, "sitting on a scarlet beast . . . dressed in purple and scarlet and holding a gold cup filled with everything vile and with the impurities of her prostitution." The seven green hills below her are the kings who were seduced by her wicked ways, while the water represents all the nations under her power. Roberg surrounded the crumbling buildings with huge flashes of lightning and fluorescent colors to emphasize the violence of God's wrath.


Allegory - place - Babylon

Animal - lion

Figure group

Landscape - imaginary

Religion - New Testament - Last Judgment


folk art

paint - acrylic

paint - oil

paint - tempera

readymade - glitter

fabric - canvas

About Robert Roberg

Born: Spokane, Washington 1943

More works in the collection by
Robert Roberg