“One’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes.” ~Andrew Wyeth
Andrew Wyeth (pronunciation) was one of the best-known American artists of the 20th century. He was especially known for his paintings of the rural American landscape.
Early Life of Andrew Wyeth
Wyeth was born on July 12, 1917 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. His father, N.C. Wyeth, was a famous artist who encouraged his son’s talent. His mother, Carolyn Bockius Wyeth, was also an artist. Andrew began painting at a young age and had his first solo exhibition when he was just 20 years old.
He quickly gained popularity for his paintings of the rural American landscape. His painting, Christina’s World (1948) is one of his best-known works. It depicts his neighbor, Anna Christina Olson, crawling across a field, her body twisted by polio. She had been paralyzed since she was 30 years old and refused to use a wheelchair. In the realist style painting, Christina is semi- reclining gazing into the distance at a gray house on the horizon.
Famous Paintings by Andrew Wyeth
Wyeth also became known for his paintings of people, often using family members and neighbors as models. His painting The Helga Pictures (1986-1987) is a series of more than 240 portraits of a German woman named Helga Testorf (pronunciation).
His style was realistic and often melancholic. His subjects were generally quiet and unassuming, and he frequently used muted colors.
Andrew was married to Betsy Jameson from 1940 until her death in 1995. They had two children together, Jamie and Anna. His second wife, Mary Dougherty Wyeth, died in 2015 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
In his lifetime, Wyeth was a highly celebrated artist and the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Medal of Arts in 2007. Andrew Wyeth died in 2009 at the age of 91. His unique style of subdued Realism and his vision of the American landscape continues to inspire artists today.