Watercolor on paper
11 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches
Andrew Wyeth was a visual artist, primarily a realist painter, working predominantly in a regionalist style. He was one of the best-known American artists of the mid 20th century, and was sometimes referred to as the “Painter of the People,” due to his work’s popularity with the American public. Wyeth’s favorite subjects were the land and the people around him, both in his hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and at his summer home in Cushing, Maine. Andrew Wyeth was born in 1917 and was the youngest of five children of illustrator and artist Newell Convers (N.C.) Wyeth and Carolyn Bockius Wyeth. Andrew was home-tutored due to his frail health, and learned art from his father, who inspired his son’s love of rural landscapes, and a sense of romance. Wyeth started drawing at a young age, and with his father’s guidance, he mastered figure study and watercolor, and later learned egg tempera from brother-in-law Peter Hurd. He studied art history on his own, admiring many masters of Renaissance and American painting, especially Winslow Homer. In 1937, at age twenty, Wyeth had his first one-man exhibition of paintings at the Macbeth Gallery in New York City. The entire inventory of his works sold out. Wyeth became famed for the quality of realism and detail found in his art, often creating moody pastorals. Exhibitions of his art, which were shown internationally, often brought in record numbers of museum visitors. Wyeth also went on to receive many honors. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 and later received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1990 from President George H.W. Bush, the first artist to receive the award. Wyeth died on January 16, 2009, at the age of 91, in the town of his birth.
This painting will be included in Betsy James Wyeth's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work.
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