Gorky's paintings are inevitably preceded by a preliminary drawing. He would select from existing drawings, usually done in the warmer months, to use as the basis for a painting or a number of paintings. The drawing, once transferred to the canvas, would serve as an armature for his colour. The schema would be interpreted freely and could be worked up in a number of interpretations, each a variation on a theme. Two other works share the same underlying drawing as Plumage landscape: Year after year 1947 (collection of Mr and Mrs Gifford Phillips, New York) and Theme for plumage landscape (Call for Virginia) 1947 (private collection).
Michael Lloyd & Michael Desmond European and American Paintings and Sculptures 1870-1970 in the Australian National Gallery 1992 p.216.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010