Image: Spring Thunderstorm
(Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio, 1893 - 1967, Buffalo, New York)

Spring Thunderstorm , 1955

Watercolor and charcoal on paper
29 7/8 in. x 40 1/8 in. (75.88 cm x 101.92 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Mary S. Huhn, Mrs. Dorothy S. Steinberg, and Mr. John F. Seiberling, Jr. in memory of their father, Mr. J. Frederick Seiberling
This painting represents Burchfield’s preferred subject matter, the landscape. It is likely one of the artist’s many depictions of his own backyard near Buffalo, New York. Using watercolor, his signature medium, Burchfield sought to communicate the energy of the natural world. He does not attempt to replicate nature but instead expresses his personal experience of a storm. Active, slashing brushstrokes loosely define the forms of trees and grass, while gray streaks coalesce into a stormy sky and a supernatural yellow glow permeates the scene. Burchfield often wrote poetic phrases on the backs of his works, and on this painting he inscribed, “It almost seems as if the thunder-clap caused the peach tree to burst into bloom.”
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Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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