Douglas founded the art department at Fisk University, where he also created many celebrated murals.
The leading painter of the Harlem Renaissance, Douglas based this painting on an illustration he made for God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (1927), a book by noted author and civil rights advocate James Weldon Johnson. Its subject tells the story of a winged angel of death who races through the heavens on horseback to rescue a woman from a life of suffering.
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