Narrative Art: Religious

By Lenihan, Mary; Mark-Walker, Diane | School Arts, December 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Narrative Art: Religious

Lenihan, Mary, Mark-Walker, Diane, School Arts

Henry O. Tanner, (United States, 1859-1937), Daniel in the Lions' Den, c. 1907-18, oil on paper mounted on canvas, 41 1/8 x 49 7/8" (104.5 x 126.8 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. William Preston Harrison Collection, 22.63.

Daniel leans against the side of the lions' den surrounded by several of the large beasts. Despite the apparent danger, the painting's mood is one of quiet serenity. In Tanner's typical style, this painting uses color and light to evoke the essence of the story.

Henry Tanner was one of the most important African American artists of his time. A minister's son, he traveled to Palestine and the Middle East, devoting much of his career to painting religious subjects, Wary of racial prejudice in the United States, he spent much of his life in France. The story of Daniel, unjustly imprisoned by the Persian king, was a fitting subject for Tanner, who used dramatic lighting and shimmering color. Here those elements combine to reveal Daniel's calm, spiritual strength in the face of danger, and the glowing light from above, which perhaps stands for divine protection.

?? What is happening in the painting? Do the lions seem very interested in the man? Does he seem frightened? Do the colors in the painting provide any clues about the painting's story? Make up your own story in which someone is in danger. What colors would you use to paint your story?

GalleryCard submitted by Mary Lenihan, Assistant Museum Educator, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


December 1999

Andrea Mantegna (Italian, about 1431-1506), The Adoration of the Magi, about 1500, distemper on linen, 19 1/8 x 25 7/8" (48.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Narrative Art: Religious


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?