Lot 15
  • 15

Charles Burchfield 1893 - 1967

600,000 - 800,000 USD
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  • Charles Burchfield
  • The Red Admiral (Butterfly)
  • Signed with the artist's monogrammed initials CEB and dated 1961-62 (lower right); also titled and dated The Red Admiral/(Butterfly)/38 x 29/1961-'62 on the reverse
  • Watercolor on paper mounted on board
  • 38 by 29 in.; 96.5 by 73.7 cm


Frank K.M. Rehn Galleries, New York
Estates of Rose & Harry Rudick, New York (and sold: Sotheby's, New York, December 1, 1988, lot 285, illustrated)
Acquired at the above sale by A. Alfred Taubman


Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Institute of Arts, February 1989-February 1990 (on loan)


Joseph S. Trovato, Charles Burchfield: Catalogue of Paintings in Public and Private Collections, Utica, New York, 1970, no. 1261, p. 296

Catalogue Note

Passionate about art, writing and literature as a boy, Charles Burchfield recorded the sense of wonder he experienced upon the rebirth of nature each spring in journal entries throughout his life. Constantly sketching the flora and fauna he observed outdoors, Burchfield transformed these elements into vibrant watercolors that resonate with color and visually capture the rustle and hum of leaves, insects and butterflies in motion. Painted in 1961-62, The Red Admiral dates from the later years of Burchfield’s career and exemplifies his expressionist idiom, full of energy, assurance and inventiveness. J. Benjamin Townsend writes, “What distinguishes the watercolors of Burchfield’s final, transcendental phase from his earlier painting is their portrayal of nature, not simply as a reflection of the artist’s own experience and subjective response through the anthropomorphizing of natural events, but as an autonomous, animistic cosmos in which objects and forces present their own poetic dramas” (Charles Burchfield’s Journals: The Poetry of Place, Albany, New York, p. 528).