In 1945 Golgotha was exhibited as part of the series of eleven watercolors titled The Passion of Christ in Bearden's first major New York gallery show. His knowledge of Cubism is apparent in the flattened space and angular forms, and the areas of bright color framed by black outlines reveal his admiration for the stained-glass windows of medieval churches. Golgotha was also directly influenced by Duccio's fourteenth-century Maestà altarpiece in the Siena cathedral. Bearden borrowed Duccio's overall composition of the Crucifixion scene as well as the poses and gestures of the figures that watch from the base of the cross.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Bearden
Margaret Seligman Lewisohn, New York (until d. 1954; her bequest to MMA)
New York. Samuel M. Kootz Gallery. "Romare Bearden: First New York Exhibition," October 8–27, 1945, no. 10.
Brooklyn. Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. "Selected Works by Black Artists from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 14–June 14, 1976, unnumbered cat.
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, The Arsenal. "Selected Works by Black Artists from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 7–March 30, 1979, no catalogue.
Detroit Institute of Arts. "Romare Bearden: Origins and Progressions," September 16–November 16, 1986, no. 1.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "African-American Artists, 1929–1945: Prints, Drawings, and Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 15–May 4, 2003, extended to July 6, 2003, no. 24.
Myron Schwartzman. Romare Bearden: His Life and Art. New York, 1990, pp. 136–37, ill.
Lowery S. Sims. "African American Artists and Postmodernism: Reconsidering the Careers of Wifredo Lam, Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, and Robert Colescott." African American Visual Aesthetics: A Postmodernist View. Ed. David C. Driskell. Washington, 1995, p. 104, fig. 4.2.
Lisa Gail Collins inAfrican-American Artists, 1929–1945: Prints, Drawings, and Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2003, pp. 52–53, no. 24, ill. (color).
Lisa Mintz Messinger inAfrican–American Artists, 1929–1945: Prints, Drawings, and Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2003, p. 51.
Artist: Romare Bearden (American, Charlotte, North Carolina 1911–1988 New York)Date: 1976Medium: Cut and pasted painted and printed papers, watercolor, gouache, ink marker, and graphite on paperAccession: 1996.551.2On view in:Not on view