May 5, 2015
Jan 25, 2013

The Sun Through the Trees

The Sun Through the Trees

June 30, 1917

Charles Burchfield

(American, 1893–1967)

Watercolor and opaque watercolor

Sheet: 55.9 x 45.7 cm (22 x 18 in.)

Hinman B. Hurlbut Collection 1930.849

Catalogue raisonné: Straus 240; Trovato 350


Did you know?

This work is an early example in which Burchfield began to paint directly and expressively with watercolor rather than carefully sketching out his composition in advance.


While sketching in the Ohio countryside in 1916, Burchfield began to represent the sun as a dramatic orb. This sheet is part of a group in which the artist suggested stained glass windows using trees and the sun. Here, branches reach toward the sun to form a dark, halo-like frame filled by sunlight that diffuses into an array of color. By combining landscape with religious iconography, Burchfield suggested the divine influence he saw in nature.

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