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Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Sun-glow on a Rainy Day, March 23, 1917; watercolor and gouache on paper, 15 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches (Frame: 32 5/8 x 26 1/2 inches); Gift of Peter E. and Elizabeth M. Parisi, 2005

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Sun-glow on a Rainy Day, March 23, 1917; watercolor and gouache on paper, 15 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches (Frame: 32 5/8 x 26 1/2 inches); Gift of Peter E. and Elizabeth M. Parisi, 2005

During Burchfield’s self-proclaimed “Golden Year,” he confidently embarked on a highly abstracted, expressionist mode of transforming ordinary neighborhood scenes into alarming, menacing, or vibrant dream-like visions. In Sun-glow on a Rainy Day, from March 23, 1917, he exaggerated proportions to make the foggy sun enormous. Heavy streaks of rain fall on an agitated shed and backyard strewn with trash. Empty tomato and pea cans represent the antithesis of spring growth. He poetically described the day’s weather in his journal:

            Cool SW wind – rift clouds – Objects are again elusive – a tree trunk even close at hand seems only half-revealed –

            Heavy dashing rain at noon directly from South – brilliant white light from west –

            A small sapling glittering with wet, -

            Trees have only glittering roots & damp trunks –

            Running gutters –

            Swift moving layer clouds at dusk – maple trees in bloom; a drenching rain – high wind – layer at night heavy rain, looming wind – the sky let loose – it is the equinox –