SOLD Moonlight, 1915

by Charles Burchfield (1893–1967)
Ink wash, conté crayon, and pencil on paper
8⅛ x 10⅜ inches (sight size)
Monogrammed and dated lower left: CEB / 7/19/15


James and Merle Goodman, Buffalo, New York

Mr. & Mrs. S. Jay Levy, New York, New York

Private collection, New York, New York, by descent from above

Sale, Swann Galleries, New York, New York, September 21, 2023, lot 124, from above


The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, The Drawings of Charles E. Burchfield, November 4–December 31, 1953

The University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona, Charles Burchfield—His Golden Year, November 14, 1965–January 9, 1966 (as Moonlight Through the Trees, 1915)


The Drawings of Charles E. Burchfield: Catalogue of an Exhibition Sponsored by The Print Club of Cleveland and The Cleveland Museum of Art (Oberlin: Press of the Times, 1953), 17, no. 9.

Charles Burchfield—His Golden Year (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1965), 98, no. 163 (as Moonlight Through the Trees, 1915).

Edith H. Jones, ed., The Drawings of Charles Burchfield (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., 1968), n.p., plate 2.

Related Works

Tree Ghosts, 1919, watercolor and pencil on paper, 16¼ x 14¾ inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State, New York

Moonlight (Along a Country Road), 1937, watercolor on paper, 20¾ x 29½ inches; Private collection

Study for “July”, 1941, charcoal on white card, 11 x 17 5/16 inches; Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts

The By-Road, ca. 1941–1943, watercolor on paper mounted on board, 27 x 21½ inches; David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

Spring Landscape with Trees and Pond, 1947, watercolor and charcoal on paper, 28⅜ x 39½ inches; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California

Note: The moon became a repeat motif for Charles Burchfield, painting bold colorful rings of moonlight in the sky or subtle streaks falling across a landscape. The artist referenced moonlight numerous times in his journals, writing on July 19, 1915, “I took a walk after sunset tonight along country roads—The pale yellow & blue green afterglow lasted long—Schubert’s Unfinished Symphonie [sic] went thru my mind—The night wind blew a moonlight night across the land after the last light vanished. I dreamed of my future as I went along under the black wind-clattering trees—I fought battles with imaginary critics & grew scornful.”[1] Burchfield later created a larger version of this tree-lined scene in watercolor, now held in a private collection.

[1] J. Benjamin Townsend, ed., Charles Burchfield’s Journals: The Poetry of Place (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993), 433.

Artist Biography

Watercolorist with Romantic Realist Vision of American Life

By Amy Spencer

Best known for his romantic watercolors, Burchfield developed a unique style, swinging between realism and fantasy, to express his profound respect for the American landscape.

I. Biography
II. Chronology
III. Collections
IV. Exhibitions
V. Memberships
VI. Notes
VII. Suggested Resources

I. Biography

Charles Ephraim Burchfield is celebrated for his visionary paintings of the American

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