North America, American
19 3/8 in. x 17 5/8 in. (49.21 cm x 44.77 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase with the aid of a National Endowment for the Arts grant
Currently On View
© The Estate of Fairfield Porter / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
"Winter Clouds" records a snow-dusted, fallow field, most likely on Long Island and near Porter's Southampton home. The small format is not unusual in Porter’s work, although many record more intimate views of natural surroundings rather than the expansive vista seen in "Winter Clouds".
The painting retains a fresh spontaneity; suggested by the long, smooth brushstrokes that define the borders of the field. The varying character of the light is most noticeable in the different shades of blue that the artist has used in the sky. The light is made most tangible as it defines the clouds over the field; the effect created is of clouds whose edges are glowing with the bright light from directly overhead, as it would have been at the height of the winter season. Although the painting is small, the composition is panoramic and embodies the artist’s reaction to the field caressed by cold, shimering sunlight filtered by the clouds.