The Figure 5 in Gold is a painting created by American painter Charles Demuth in 1928, as a tribute to his friend, William Carlos Williams. It is considered one of Demuth’s most famous works and a great example of Precisionism, the style of painting he developed.
The artwork is a visual representation of Williams’ poem, The Great Figure. The number five is depicted in gold, divided into rectangles and triangles that reflect light and change the color of space and shapes. This creates a sense of movement within the painting’s warring pressure lines of darkness and lamplight.
The painting has become an iconic piece within the art world with Robert Indiana recreating it several years later as The Figure Five. It has been used on various book covers such as Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture (1992) making it globally recognized by those who appreciate modern art. Today, visitors can view Demuth’s paintings at his museum located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where they get an opportunity to see how he self-expressed through this Precisionist form during his life span.