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The Angel of the Waters, #1302

Folk and Self-Taught Art

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The Angel of the Waters, #1302

Artwork Details


Howard Finster
American, 1916–2001




Enamel paint on glass

Accession #



18 3/16 x 32 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 407


Carefully painted, neither schematic nor stylized, this charming and joyous work was created just as the Reverend Howard Finster’s artistic skills were maturing. The Angel of the Waters is unique among Finster’s paintings on glass in its complexity and depiction of a narrative scene. The source and subject of this imaginative recto/verso piece are unclear. It does not seem intended to portray the Angel of the Waters from the Gospel of John, but it may refer obliquely to a Bible verse cited on the verso: “I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets” (Hosea 12:10).


Gift of Lynne and Jim Browne in honor of their children, Margaret and Ross, and in memory of Ross and Mary Ann Underwood