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The Rock

Painting of figures construction project amid smoky destruction, middle is pink crater.

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  • Painting of figures construction project amid smoky destruction, middle is pink crater.




Peter Blume (American, born Smorgon, Russian Empire, now Belarus, 1906–1992)

About this artwork

A startling juxtaposition of images, The Rock depicts a shattered red rock resting on top of a base that is being demolished by workers below. Peter Blume labored for years to complete this painting, which was commissioned in 1939 by the Edgar Kaufmann family for Fallingwater, their Frank Lloyd Wright–designed home in Pennsylvania. Although the complex imagery resists easy interpretation, it may point to devastation and reconstruction, reflecting the turbulence of World War II and its aftermath. In the end, The Rock proved too large for Fallingwater and it was never displayed there.


On View, Gallery 262


Arts of the Americas


Peter Blume


The Rock


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1944–1948


Oil on canvas


Signed Lower left: Peter Blume, 1948


146.4 × 188.9 cm (57 5/8 × 74 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Edgar Kaufmann Jr.

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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