The Third Sleep

I have always been drawn to this painting, which I first saw 30 years ago in the Art Institute of Chicago.  Last month we drove to Chicago and passed the new wind farm northwest of Indianapolis.  Since we first saw windmills in California, later on the Llano Estacado in West Texas, and now on the ridge near the Fairfax Stone at the head of the Potomac, I have admired their grace.

Earl Park Wind Farm, Indiana 2009

What strikes me in looking at the painting and at the prairie windmills, is the naturalism of the draped form against industrial construction and a blighted plain in the painting; and the reversal in the photograph of the industrial but organic forms of the windmills, rising from the field, with homelier buildings in a fertile field.

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