Christina’s World is a 1948 painting by American painter Andrew Wyeth, and one of the best-known American paintings of the middle 20th century. It depicts a woman lying on the ground in a treeless, mostly tawny field, looking up at a gray house on the horizon; a barn and various other small outbuildings are adjacent to the house. Source [WikiPedia]
- Wyeth was initially unhappy with Christina’s World.
Though it would become his best-known work and an icon of American art, Christina’s World was described by Wyeth as “a complete flat tire” when he sent it off to the Macbeth Gallery for a show in 1948. He also wondered if the painting would have been improved if he “painted just that field and have you sense Christina without her being there.”
- Pages and pages of sketches preceded the painting.
Wyeth was obsessed with getting the position of Christina’s arms and hands just right. Today these sketches are tenderly preserved for posterity.
- Olson was not the painting’s only model.
The concept, title, pink dress, and slim limbs were modeled after Olson, who was in her mid-50s when Christina’s World was created. But Wyeth asked his then 26-year-old wife to sit in as a model for the head and torso.
- Christina’s World was one of several paintings Wyeth did of Olson.
- Christina’s World was met with little fanfare.
Wyeth’s timing wasn’t quite right. He finished the painting in 1948, which meant the magical realism masterpiece debuted at a time when Abstract Expressionism was all the rage.
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