Philip Guston

(American, 1913-1980)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 203.4 x 244 x 2.5 cm (80 1/16 x 96 1/16 x 1 in.); Unframed: 203.4 x 244 cm (80 1/16 x 96 1/16 in.)

Bequest of Musa Guston 1992.212

Fun Fact

Oil paint was applied thinly on the upper portion of the work resulting in a matte appearance, while the glossy area in the middle suggests a thick, wet-on-wet painting technique.


During the last, most productive decade of Philip Guston’s career his imagery included ordinary objects such as bottles, books, light bulbs, and shoes and heads—many of which are emblematic of art historical, social, and personal experiences. Here a scroll, often associated with the Torah, or book of Jewish law, symbolizes Guston’s religious heritage. Isolated against a dark, somber background of turbulent brushstrokes, the scroll has been unrolled to reveal thick hatchings that suggest a text.

See also
CONTEMP - Painting
Contemporary Art
Type of artwork: 
Oil on canvas

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email