Howard Finster covered his paintings with written descriptions and Bible quotes to help people understand their meanings. He made VISION OF A GREAT GULF to teach people about hell, because “if a man believed in Hell he would try to avoid going there.” The painting includes terrifying warnings about the underworld, suggesting that if we ignore the artist’s messages, we might join the people falling helplessly into the chasm of monsters. Finster filled every available space with scribbled text and bright colors to create an overwhelming image of the confusion of hell.
“To leave out [the] teaching of hell from the Bible is like taking down red lights in a congested street in your city. The more you hide hell from the world the more [may] go there.” Howard Finster, inscription on back of painting.
VISION OF A GREAT GULF ON PLANET HELL
- 35 3⁄8 x 18 5⁄8 in. (90 x 47.2 cm) panel
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr.
- Mediums Description
- enamel on plywood with painted frame
- Allegory – religion – hell
- Fantasy – monster
- Object Number
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI