Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Solitude,  1944-63; watercolor and charcoal on paper, 42 x 60 inches, Collection of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Charles Rand Penney, 1994
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, February 12, 1937
Thursday, October 8, 2015
[Burchfield outlined the following passage with red pencil.]
What is the secret of Sibelius’ grim originality?
The determination to stand alone, and the iron will to carry it thru, keeping his work pure and unsullied by the current decadence in art; by keeping lonely vigils with nature, whereby he comes to know her in all her true aspects unsoftened by sentimentality. He avoids the degenerating influence of the comfortable life; for him the grim desolation of a remote forest on a bitterly cold night in winter is equal in beauty to that of a flower-starred meadow under a balmy June sun. Consequently, his art will stand out thru the ages as a great mountain of rock dominates a desert. Even we who admire him intensely, cannot see him in his true gigantic proportions. Many ages must pass before he can be truly appraised. And I think he will always be something of a perennial mystery; like Beethoven, he will never be explained.
Charles E. Burchfield, February 12, 1937