Nocturne in Black and Gold


This painting depicts a night scene filled with fireworks, expressing dark tones and a sense of mystery. The painting uses somber colors to create an uneasy and ominous feeling, full of chaos. This atmosphere resonates with the theme of "The Macabre" as well as Edgar Allan Poe's poem, "The Raven". The atmosphere within "The Raven" is full of darkness as the narrator emphasizes themes of obsession and despair. The raven within the poem itself becomes a symbol of death and mourning, emphasizing the feeling of darkness within the poem and the painting.

The poem, states, "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary" and "And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain/Thrilled me-filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before." This quote evokes an ominous atmosphere and creates a feeling of sadness throughout the poem. The poem also states the word, "Nevermore." The repetition of this word emphasizes the sense of despair and impending doom throughout the poem. This emphasizes the theme of "The Macabre" present in both the poem and the painting.

Lorine Pruette states in their article, "A Psycho-Analytical Study of Edgar Allan Poe,' "It was not merely the thought of death which obsessed the poet, but death in all its details and in its visible symbol, the casket of death." This quote emphasizes the significance of death within the poem. This emphasis expresses the atmospheric ominousness present throughout the poem, as well as the eerie and doom-ridden feelings present in the poem and the chaos within the painting. 

Works Cited

“Nocturne in Black and Gold – the Falling Rocket.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Dec. 2023,

“Nocturne in Black and Gold, the Falling Rocket.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., Accessed 2 May 2024.

Pruette, Lorine. “A Psycho-Analytical Study of Edgar Allan Poe.” The American Journal of Psychology, vol. 31, no. 4, 1920, pp. 370–402. JSTOR, Accessed 3 May 2024.

Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, Accessed 3 May 2024.

Associated Place(s)


  • James McNeill

Image Date: