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Charles Burchfield

An April Mood

1946-55

Artist

Charles Burchfield (1893-1967)

Title

An April Mood

Date

1946-55

Medium

Watercolor and fabricated chalk on paper, mounted on board

Dimensions

Sheet: 40 × 54 in. (101.6 × 137.2 cm) Mount (board): 40 × 54 × 1/8 in. (101.6 × 137.2 × 0.3 cm)

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with partial funds from Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence A. Fleischman

Accession number

55.39

Object Label

Charles Burchfield captured the effects of seasonal changes of the landscape near his home outside of Buffalo, New York—phenomena that he also registered in his diaries. Though wild flowers and yellow-tipped vegetation are beginning to emerge from the winter-deadened earth, the overhanging clouds portend the delay of spring. Burchfield thought of An April Mood as portraying a struggle between the end of winter and the beginning of spring, in which the sky formed an “April frown.” In his journal he described the watercolor as "A sketch of the sky & old maple trees on edge of the woods. The mood I aimed at was the anger of God--a good Friday mood." His religious theme is implied by the groups of three clustered trees in the foreground and background, which serve as symbols of the three crosses present at the crucifixion.

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