Rather than working on a single sheet, Burchfield joined two pieces of paper to make this drawing.
This drawing is the second study for Charles Burchfield's Church Bells Ringing, Rainy Winter Night, which he considered the most important drawing of his "golden year." Here, the artist sketched the composition in graphite, attempting to record the spire of Salem’s Baptist church (since destroyed by fire) rising up between two houses. Burchfield hoped to express his powerful childhood fear of the bell’s ominous ring—which he described as “a dull roar . . . dying slowly & with a growl.”
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