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Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Summer Garden, 1916; watercolor on paper, 14 x 20 inches (Frame: 24 x 29 3/4 inches); Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Armand J. Castellani, 1979

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Summer Garden, 1916; watercolor on paper, 14 x 20 inches (Frame: 24 x 29 3/4 inches); Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Armand J. Castellani, 1979

Riotous colors and random patterns of a bountiful flower garden contrast with horizontal slats of gold clapboard and a sun-soaked lawn. In a lovingly painted “snapshot” of his backyard, Burchfield used a Post-Impressionist style of simple, broad brushstrokes that ignore minute details to convey patterns of color defined by light. By framing his view from the shelter of the grape arbor with a pair of shadowed trees, he concentrated the visual field, thus intensifying its rainbow brilliance. He seems to have adapted Monet’s brushwork and Cezanne’s compositional strategies to merge with his landscape watercolor style acquired from Berlin Heights and Cleveland School of Art colleagues. —Nancy Weekly