Jan 25, 2013

Backyards in Winter (Castoff Christmas Tree)

Backyards in Winter (Castoff Christmas Tree)

January 1917

Charles Burchfield

(American, 1893–1967)

Watercolor, gouache, blue and orange crayons, and black wash on wove paper

Sheet: 36.3 x 45.8 cm (14 5/16 x 18 1/16 in.)

Anonymous gift in memory of Henry G. Keller 1954.571

Catalogue raisonné: Straus; 281; Trovato 245


Did you know?

Christmas trees recurred throughout Burchfield's work around this time.


In this drawing, the gray and brown tones of a row of houses are interrupted by the bright green and yellow of a discarded Christmas tree. The work was created in the same year as Church Bells Ringing, where a Christmas tree visible through a window was meant to contrast the work’s foreboding mood. This earlier image similarly suggests Burchfield’s passion for his favorite holiday, which he saw as a symbol of goodness.

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