Feb 11, 2009

Church Bells Ringing, Rainy Winter Night, No. 3

Church Bells Ringing, Rainy Winter Night, No. 3


Charles Burchfield

(American, 1893–1967)

Graphite, smudged in places on two sheets of butt-joined wove paper, lined

Sheet: 25.2 x 13.8 cm (9 15/16 x 5 7/16 in.); Secondary Support: 26.9 x 13.8 cm (10 9/16 x 5 7/16 in.)

Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund 1953.431


Did you know?

Burchfield drew in layers of graphite to create forms on the church's steeple that suggest the sound of ringing bells and appearance of dripping rain.


This drawing is a study for one of Burchfield’s Church Bells Ringing, Rainy Winter Night, painted in December 1917. The artist described the work as “an attempt to express a childhood emotion—a rainy winter night—the church bell is ringing and it terrifies me (the child)—the bell ringing motive reaches out and saturates the rainy sky—the roofs of the houses dripping with rain are influenced; the child attempts to be comforted by the thoughts of candle lights and Christmas trees, but the fear of the black, rainy night is overpowering.”

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