Andrew Wyeth was a widely celebrated American artist who specialized in realist watercolor and tempera paintings of people and landscapes. His best-known work, Christina’s World (1948), depicts a young woman laying in the grass and looking toward a farmhouse. Despite the work’s everyday subject matter, it is filled with a haunting sense of urgency and foreboding dread. While his work has been deemed melancholic, the artist preferred to describe it as thoughtful.
Born on July 12, 1917 in Chadds Ford, PA, he was the son of the illustrator N.C. Wyeth. Throughout his career, Wyeth’s figurative paintings remained popular even in a postwar era dominated by abstraction. Andrew Wyeth continued his exploration of domestic realism, painting both interiors and exteriors of the farm and industrial buildings of the Pennsylvania countryside, and, in the summers, the clapboard houses and stark landscape of the Maine coast. Working in watercolor and egg tempera, Wyeth's keenly observed images have a pared down sparseness that gives them a palpable sense of quiet.
Wyeth was the first visual artist to appear on the cover of Time magazine and the first living American-born artist to have a show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The artist died on January 16, 2009 at the age of 91 in his hometown of Chadds Ford, PA. Today, his works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others.
The Dormer Window, Cushing, Maine, 1949, watercolor on paper, 15 x 22 inches
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