Red Poppies

Charles Demuth American

Not on view

Debilitated by diabetes during the last eight years of his life, Demuth's artistic output was also severely curtailed. Ironically, however, his late works, as evidenced by this 1929 watercolor of poppies, are some of his boldest in terms of color, draftsmanship, and design. Unlike the luminous transparency of earlier botanical studies, the watercolor here is applied rather opaquely. The spiked contours and gentle curves of the flowers direct our eye around the composition, coming to rest on the large open blossom in the center. Presenting the full cycle of the flower— budding, opening, blooming, and decaying—he also suggests the human life cycle, and perhaps his own diminished physical strength.

Buy a print

Custom framed to suit your space

Red Poppies, Charles Demuth (American, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1883–1935 Lancaster, Pennsylvania), Watercolor and graphite on paper

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.