This painting makes me recall a line from Thomas Gray’s 18th-century English poem which reads “Far from the madding crowd…” which was the inspiration for the title of Thomas Hardy’s famous novel. The painting also conjures passages from Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. Autumn Fields expresses the romantic view of nature as a being that includes the totality of existence in organic unity and harmony. To put it in other words, nature is the soul’s home. Artists refer to this experience as synesthesia, the process by which one sense can stimulate another, as when a certain color can induce a musical key.
This painting evokes a kind of nostalgia in us; the crowded, noisy world we live in occasionally makes one wonder what it would be like to lie on one’s back and contemplate the sky in this bucolic landscape of solitude and dream without interruption. What sounds would we hear? Maybe the wind caressing the tall wheat grasses, perhaps the insects, crickets, and bees going about their business. There is a flock of birds in the sky—geese, perhaps? Since this is a fall landscape, are they about to depart on their annual migration?
The color of the fields—empty of human figures—creates a most serene mood and makes us wonder what the world looked like before people appeared here.
— Susanne Kimball, touring docent