Decoration of the Famous Artist Painter Philomé Obin

Obin, Philome (Haitian, 1892 - 1986)

oil on board
20 x 24 in.

ex. ZQ Art


Decoration du Célèbre Artiste Peintre Philomé Obin par la Secrétaire d'Elat de l'Education Nationale M. Raoul Pierre-Louis

Decoration of the Famous Artist Painter Philomé Obin

Philomé was particular about his dress, which reflected the stature he achieved through his art.  In this scene, both figures wear suits. Included are several paintings within a painting – a representation of Philome’s strong sense of place regarding all things Cap-Haitien, from beloved portraiture of family members, traditional architecture, figures experiencing daily life in both sea and landscape scenes. 

Emphasizing the importance of the moment, the two men are frozen in a handshake, caught in one another’s direct gaze. Philomé holds the certificate in one hand, a medal around his neck. This wasn’t only official business. The Secretary’s unusually large arm may express a personal gesture.  As they engage in a heartfelt celebratory moment, we can observe the Secretary’s choice of details even in his gold shoe buckle, perhaps signaling an admiration for Philomé’s lifelong achievements.