wyeth’s particulars


Andrew Wyeth, the most famous American painter that almost no one in the art world ever thought of or cared much about, died in his sleep, in his home near Philadelphia, at the age of 91. Known for his sketchy, dry, goldenrod-and-ochre-colored scenes of working farms, rundown sawmills, nature studies, working people, military garb and rustic interiors — he was very good at depicting peeling paint and rotting wood — Wyeth, who was the son of the well-known illustrator N.C. Wyeth, is responsible for one of the most recognized and beloved American paintings of the early 20th century, Christina’s World. Painted in 1948, the work was a stroke of luck and delayed memory. One day, as Wyeth happened to look out his upstairs window, he saw his next-door neighbor — a young woman named Christina Olsen, whom he had been painting for some time — crawling across a field of wheat. Christiana had had polio as a child. Later, Wyeth made sketches of the Olsen house, added a field surrounding it, and, as an afterthought, inserted Christina in a pink dress in the foreground.

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