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I Saw the Figure Five in Gold

Todd Powelson
“I Saw the Figure Five in Gold” by Charles Demuth

I was reminded of Charles Demuth‘s painting “I Saw the Figure Five in Gold” earlier this week, and was surprised that I’d never posted an image of it here on ArtDuh before.

There is something I really like about this image. I do a lot of graphic design work, and variations of this image have appeared in that work from time to time. It’s helped inspire elevator and building signs, printed pieces, and I put a variant on a company car once. Not direct copies, and I doubt anyone would even know this painting was the inspiration, but there ya go.

From what I remember, Demuth himself was inspired to make this painting when he saw a fire engine speed by one day with a big Number 5 painted on ‘er.

I am not the only person to be inspired by the figure 5. Pop artist Robert Indiana made many many variations of Demuth’s Figure Five. Check them out!

Todd Powelson
Todd Powelson works as a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and Visual Artist.

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