Canticle

  • Mark Tobey, Canticle, 1954, casein on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation, 1986.6.79

Exhibition Label
Abstraction and spirituality are intimately entwined in the delicate works of Mark Tobey, whom, along with Morris Graves, Life magazine described as a mystical painter. Canticle refers to liturgical hymns from the bible. Tobey acknowledged that the abstract harmony of music was an important source of inspiration: “When I play the piano for several hours, everything is clarified in my visual imagination afterwards.” The intricate pattern of delicate marks that animate the surface (critics called it “white writing”) was inspired by the artist’s study of Arabic and Japanese calligraphy.


Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection, 2014
Title
Canticle
Artist
Date
1954
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
sheet: 17 3/4 x 11 5/8 in. (45.1 x 29.4 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation

Mediums
Mediums Description
casein on paper
Classifications
Keywords
  • Abstract
Object Number
1986.6.79
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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