Painted in 1930, Autumn exhibits William Wendt's poetic feelings for the landscape and his particular love of the respendent autumnal light. Fred Hogue wrote in 1927, "They are old friends, Autumn and William Wendt: for years they have kept their annual rendezvous in the shadow of the Alabama Hills; and the old residents of Owens Valley have formed the habit of saying 'Autumn must be coming, for Wendt is here'.... To [Spring] Wendt is no stranger, but it is to meet Autumn, when the grapes are purple on the trellis and the mountain quail are piping in the golden stubble, that he goes oftenest and tarries longest." (Fred Hogue, The Los Angeles Times, 1927)
Autumn is a stunning example of the decisive, masculine brushstrokes indicative of Wendt's later oeuvre. The painting exemplifies his ability to capture the grandeur of the Western landscape, while it reminds us of his notion of the divine constitution of nature. In Autumn, a crisp white farmhouse has been engulfed in a sea of brilliant trees. Our gaze is swept across a foreground of yellow scrub to meet this sun-kissed, golden scene. A dramatic row of tall, spindly poplars force our gaze upward toward the heavens, the very source of Wendt's inspiration. Autumn's composition, and direct impressions of the scene, are very characteristic of the artist's work.