Nov 7, 2012

Study No. 1 for: Church Bells Ringing, Rainy Winter Night

Study No. 1 for: Church Bells Ringing, Rainy Winter Night


Charles Burchfield

(American, 1893–1967)

Gray/black wash, pen and black ink, and black and color crayons, with graphite and watercolor

Sheet: 36.8 x 21.2 cm (14 1/2 x 8 3/8 in.)

Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund 1953.429


Did you know?

Barely visible, two figures look out the window of the house on the left, standing near a Christmas tree that symbolized Burchfield's favorite holiday.


Burchfield drastically altered the church spire in this study for his 1917 watercolor Church Bells Ringing, Rainy Winter Night. Here, the tower takes on a wider, more open appearance than in the final drawing. The artist wrote in his private journal for December 1917 that he “wandered between the Baptist and Presbyterian church to hear the bells ring. I ran back to one too late—the other I arrived at in time to hear the last ponderous beats—the whole tower seemed to vibrate with a dull roar afterwards, dying slowly with a growl.”

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