Charles Demuth (American, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1883–1935 Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
Watercolor and graphite on paper
15 x 18 in. (38.1 x 45.7 cm)
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Irwin R. Berman, 1977
Not on view
This unfinished sheet shows Demuth's working process very clearly. First, sketching-in lightly the general outlines of the tulips and leaves with pencil, he then fills in the lines with his exquisite watercolor technique. Pooling, blotting, and brushing the colors on in both thin and opaque washes, he meticulously builds up the composition section by section, leaving the pencil lines as a visible understructure. In a letter to Stieglitz of 1923, he explained his preference to watercolor painting: "I've only painted in water-colour; the strain is greater, but, I don't have to return and fuss if it goes bad as one always does in oil or tempera."
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Charles Demuth," May 9–August 31, 2003, no catalogue.