Object of the Day

Boris Chaliapin's Portrait of Thelonious Monk

October 10
A leader of the postwar jazz revolution, Thelonious Monk—along with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker—sparked the “bebop” movement, a jazz style faster and more frenetic than the swing that had held sway since the thirties. Monk’s piano style has been called eccentric: “his melodies were angular, his harmonies full of jarring clusters.” His recording career took off in the mid-1950s, and he won an enthusiastic following, often playing with such other avant-garde musicians as John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. His compositions “Round Midnight,” “Blue Monk,” and “Epistrophy” are considered classics of modern jazz.
Image for Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk

Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition Label
Born Rocky Mount, North Carolina
A leader of the postwar jazz revolution, Thelonious Monk—along with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker—sparked the “bebop” movement, a jazz style faster and more frenetic than the swing that had held sway since the thirties. Monk’s piano style has been called eccentric: “his melodies were angular, his harmonies full of jarring clusters.” His recording career took off in the mid-1950s, and he won an enthusiastic following, often playing with such other avant-garde musicians as John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. His compositions “Round Midnight,” “Blue Monk,” and “Epistrophy” are considered classics of modern jazz.
Artist
Boris Chaliapin, 1904 - May 1979
Sitter
Thelonious Sphere Monk, 10 Oct 1917 - 17 Feb 1982
Date
1964
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 53.3 x 38.1 x 2.5cm (21 x 15 x 1")
Frame: 65.4 x 49.8 x 6cm (25 3/4 x 19 5/8 x 2 3/8")
Type
Painting
Topic
Costume\Headgear\Hat
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Mustache
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Beard
Costume\Dress Accessory\Feather
Costume\Dress Accessory\Tie\Necktie
Thelonious Sphere Monk: Male
Thelonious Sphere Monk: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Thelonious Sphere Monk: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Thelonious Sphere Monk: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Restrictions & Rights
© Chris Murphy
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
Bravo!
On View
NPG, South Gallery 322 Mezzanine
Object number
NPG.78.TC596
Culture
Thelonious Sphere Monk: American\African American