>   Genesis Creation Sermon VI: And God Created All the Beasts of the Earth
29.75" x 22"
Gouache on paper

Based on biblical texts and his own memory of the Sunday sermons of the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Sr. at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York, Jacob Lawrence’s Genesis Creation Sermon series delivers a richly personal interpretation. Inspired by realism and details of iconography, Lawrence’s Genesis Creation Sermon series also reveals his interest in references from art history. The bright colors and expressive, monumental preacher figure that stands central in each work reflect the artist’s affinity for action and resonance given in the sermon. The gestural movements of the preacher figure engage the viewer in the immediate foreground while also leading to a middle ground containing parish members watching in awe. In the background, four arched windows exhibit an exterior scene beyond the church that encompasses the theme of each Genesis Creation panel. Together, the Genesis Creation Sermon series depicts a unique narrative universally celebrated and one that is unique to American art.