Published: November 2, 2021
MILFORD, CONN. — “January Sun,” a watercolor that took American artist Charles Burchfield (1893-1967) nearly a decade to complete, was the top lot at Shannon’s October 28 Fine Art Auction when it sold for $375,000.
Burchfield completed the first iteration of the work in 1948, its sheet originally terminating downwards through the radiant sun.
The catalog notes track the artist’s journal on the day he started, January 21, 1948: “P.M. Sketch from the studio ‘porch’—shortly after I had started, the wind increased bringing snow with it. I protected myself by setting up a big box at the west end and tacking above it a large sheet of corrugated board. The snow became so thick and so clogged up my paint box that I had to stop—but not before I had hurriedly set down the main points. It made a fine composition of areas and angles.” On January 30, he continued, “P.M. Painting from my south bedroom window of view towards Millers: the sun from the south projecting its powerful rays into the northern winter.”
In 1957 the artist returned to the composition and added a sheet to the work’s left side, allowing him to paint the full sun with rays in all directions as well as a home in the distance and an extended courtyard in the work’s foreground. When he was all through, the new work measured 39 by 33½ inches.
The catalog provided his journal entry when he returned on January 17, 1957: “Got out the ‘January Sun’ (1948)…I planned to enlarge…” the next day’s entry, “Mounted the ‘January Sun’ to its new shape;” on February 18, “P.M. – Got to work on ‘January Sun’. Slow and difficult but it did go fairly well at last – but not finished –;” and finally on February 19 “A.M. Finished work on ‘January Sun.’”
Watch for a full review of this sale in a future issue.
September 28, 2022
September 28, 2022
September 27, 2022
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