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Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Before the Storm, June 8, 1916; watercolor and graphite on paper, 13 x 19 3/8 inches; The Parisi Collection

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Before the Storm, June 8, 1916; watercolor and graphite on paper, 13 x 19 3/8 inches; The Parisi Collection

The painting is not bright, but the sun’s rays are evident by the shadows cast by the building chimneys. The swaying trees and left-leaning clouds suggest the approach of a fast moving storm. This painting shows how storm clouds appear differently from the perspective of the red house. The clouds furthest away from the red house appear white - reflecting the sun’s light; the mid-distant clouds appear gray; while the closest clouds appear black, as they are blocking out the light of the sun.