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The Burden

Kahlil Gibran

American Art

The unusual and otherworldly subject of a small mother-and-child group held aloft by two large disembodied hands in this drawing typifies the imagery of the artist and writer Kahlil Gibran. Like his fellow Symbolist Elihu Vedder (whose work is displayed nearby), Gibran was preoccupied with the transcendence of the soul and the universal experiences of love, spirituality, and the life cycle. The Burden alludes to themes of maternal responsibility and the role of a divine agent guiding human endeavors.
MEDIUM Watercolor and graphite on medium cream wove paper with watermarks
DATES 1919
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 11 1/16 x 8 9/16 in. (28.1 x 21.7 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS Watermark in paper: "HIAWATHA BOND"
SIGNATURE Signed and dated lower right in graphite: "K. G. / 1919"
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Frank L. Babbott
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Kahlil Gibran (American, born Lebanon, 1883–1931). The Burden, 1919. Watercolor and graphite on medium cream wove paper with watermarks, Sheet: 11 1/16 x 8 9/16 in. (28.1 x 21.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Frank L. Babbott, 21.277 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 21.277_PS3.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 21.277_PS3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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