Moses in the Bullrushes

  • Henry Ossawa Tanner, Moses in the Bullrushes, 1921, oil on wood panel, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Robbins, 1983.95.197

Luce Center Label

Henry Ossawa Tanner took most of his themes from the New Testament, but also made several paintings of the story of Moses. The mother of Moses had set her infant son adrift in the Nile in a basket of reeds so that Pharaoh’s soldiers would not slay the Hebrew child. Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby, who was raised in the palace until Moses rejected his royal position and led his people to freedom. The muted blues capture the nighttime scene, where the moonlight reflecting on the water may signify God’s presence.

Title
Moses in the Bullrushes
Artist
Date
1921
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
22 3/8 x 15 1/8 in. (56.8 x 38.5 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Robbins

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on wood panel
Classifications
Keywords
  • Religion – Old Testament – Moses
  • Landscape – river – Nile River
Object Number
1983.95.197
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI