The Cross to Stop the Divil from Goine to Heaven

  • "Prophet" William J. Blackmon, The Cross to Stop the Divil from Goine to Heaven, ca. 1986, oil on wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 1997.124.5

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"Prophet" William J. Blackmon was a preacher most of his life and called himself a "hitchhiking man of God." His paintings present his spiritual ideas and have a particular focus on one's struggle to reach heaven and avoid hell. The Cross to Stop the Divil from Goine to Heaven shows the Devil and his followers being thwarted in their attempt to climb the cross and ascend into heaven. In the image, the Devil's path is blocked by the horizontal section of the cross and by two brightly colored guardian angels, which form a barrier that the figures cannot break through. Blackmon often used words in his paintings to help reinforce the narrative. In this painting the Devil can be seen to exclaim "I will exsalt my throne above the throne of God."

Luce Object Quote
"All my painting is directed toward God and the spiritual...." The artist, quoted in Chuck and Jan Rosenak, Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth-century American Folk Art and Artists, 1990
Title
The Cross to Stop the Divil from Goine to Heaven
Artist
Date
ca. 1986
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
43 1/2 x 26 3/4 x 3/4 in. (110.5 x 67.9 x 1.9 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on wood
Classifications
Keywords
  • Fantasy
  • Emblem – cross
  • Religion – Satan
  • Religion – Christianity
Object Number
1997.124.5
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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