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I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth on the Depict FrameI Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth
I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold, 1928

Charles Demuth

This bold, graphic painting is meant to evoke the sights and sounds of a fire engine  the Number Five  speeding down the street. Its intersecting lines, numbers, headlights, street lamp, and blaring sirens convey a sense of vibrant, urban energy. This painting is also an abstract portrait of the artist’s friend, the poet William Carlos Williams, whose poem inspired the title of the painting:

Among the rain

and lights

I saw the figure 5

in gold

on a red

firetruck

moving

tense

unheeded

to gong clangs

siren howls

and wheels rumbling

through the dark city

From the Playlist
Credit
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alfred Stieglitz Collection
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