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Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), The Horn Call from the Sibelius Fifth, c. 1963; conté crayon on paper with collaged paper changes, 25 1/8 x 38 7/8 ininches (Frame: 32 x 45 3/4 inches); Purchased with funds from the Dr. and Mrs. Armand J. Castellani Endowment, 1992

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), The Horn Call from the Sibelius Fifth, c. 1963; conté crayon on paper with collaged paper changes, 25 1/8 x 38 7/8 ininches (Frame: 32 x 45 3/4 inches); Purchased with funds from the Dr. and Mrs. Armand J. Castellani Endowment, 1992

Burchfield wrote that this study for the watercolor The Dying Embers of Autumn (1963), “grew out of a note made quite a few years ago, an idea that came to mind on hearing the opening bars of the Sibelius Fifth Symphony (The Horn Call).”  Interestingly, Burchfield changed his mind about the shape of the music.  He collaged over a wide-spread arching motif to redraw sharp, angular notes that pierce the air like spears. From this he developed “an entirely new idea – namely a storm day in late autumn – the key to the idea being a black jagged stump surrounded by the blood red leaves of a swamp maple—as if they were the last glowing embers of the fires of autumn…From a storm sky white clouds scatter snowflakes to Earth— At the left is a white birch with rich yellow leaves, some of them flying across the sky and earth.” — Nancy Weekly