Charles Ephraim Burchfield

American, 1893-1967

Study for "Sun and Rocks"

© Charles E. Burchfield Foundation

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Study for "Sun and Rocks", not dated

Artwork Details


pencil and crayon on paper


sheet: 11 x 15 3/8 inches (27.94 x 39.05 cm); framed: 17 9/16 x 21 1/2 x 1 1/8 inches (44.61 x 54.61 x 2.86 cm)

Collection Buffalo AKG Art Museum


Gift of Harriet and Mortimer Spiller, 1997

Accession ID


This is a study for Sun and Rocks, also in the Albright-Knox's collection. In the final work, Charles Burchfield utilized his favored medium of watercolor to develop an expressive visual iconography that reflects his profound respect for nature. His depictions of the landscape are often referred to as transcendental, a quality he believed was present in the natural world and led him to approach his work with the idea that the mysteries of nature could help him reveal his inner emotions. Sun and Rocks explores the theme of apocalyptic beauty in a scene Burchfield describes thus: “Shining from the deep blue cavernous sky, the spring sun—our great day-time star—floods the scene with brilliant light that will heal the wounds of earth and bring forth new life."

Label from Anselm Kiefer: Beyond Landscape, November 17, 2013–October 5, 2014