John Brown is shown praying in his prison cell. This image is a superb example of Lawrence’s expressionistic use of color and stylized form to tell a story and establish a mood. Brown’s concentration on prayer can be sensed through the expressive curve of his head and the tense locking of his hands around the cross.
Artist Jacob Lawrence, American, 1917-2000
Printer Sirocco Screenprinters, American
Publisher Founders Society
Collaborator Ives-Sillman, Inc., American, founded 1958
Title
  • After John Brown's capture, he was put to trial for his life in Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia)
Date between 1974 and 1977
Medium screenprint printed in color on wove paper
Dimensions Image: 20 × 14 inches (50.8 × 35.6 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Commissioned by Founders Society Detroit Institute of Arts, 1978
Accession Number F1983.18.21
Department African American Art
Not On View
Signed Signed, lower right: Jacob Lawrence 1977
Marks Two chop marks at lower right corner, to the left: Ives-Sillman Inc; to the right: Founders Society Detroit Institute of Arts
Inscriptions Inscribed in pencil, lower left: #21 7/60
Signed and dated in pencil, lower right: Jacob Lawrence 1977
1983-present, gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)