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Three Women (Easter Sunday) by Romare Bearden

  • Title: Three Women (Easter Sunday)
  • Artist: Romare Bearden
  • Medium: Lithograph
  • Size: 28" h x 21" w
  • Creation date: 1979
  • Added to collection: 2014
  • Donor: Purchased by Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus
  • Campus: Rock Creek
  • Location: B5/2 Administration office rm 245

Three women stand together in bright, colorfully patterned clothing under a sunny, blue sky. Their hands reach out for each other in the act of greeting upon arriving at church for Easter Sunday service. A bird rests on a shrub along the lower right of the composition. Romare Bearden, who often drew on compositions by past artists as a way to envision scenes from his early childhood in North Carolina, may have based this on a Renaissance painting by Pontormo (The Visitation). However, the style of this lithograph is heavily influenced by the artist’s own collages with their strong sense of shape interlock, as well as by the flattened space and patterns in Byzantine and Indian art. The heads of the women evoke African masks, photos of which Bearden often used as elements in his collages for the faces of his figures. Sometimes the most original art comes from the wildest combination of influences.