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Object Name: Dessalines Ripping the White from the Flag
Artist: Madsen Mompremier (b.1952)
Place of Origin: Gonaïves, Haiti
Dimensions: 77.2 x 91.4 cm
Medium/Materials: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum purchase.
Accession Number: X95.22.5
Few moments in the Haitian past are as hallowed as when Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the insurgent leader and future president of Haiti, created the national flag on May 18, 1803. Here the revolutionary hero is stationed before the nurturing Tree of Liberty, surrounded by valiant soldiers and vigilant angels, decisively slicing the white out of the French Tricolor. With divine approval, Catherine Flon, the Haitian Betsy Ross, sews the blue and red sections back together thus fashioning the sacred banner of a newly independent republic.
Source: Gallery text, Fowler in Focus: Art and the Unbreakable Spirit of Haiti, 2011.
See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.