Andrew Wyeth, one of my favorite 20th-century painters, has died at 91. I always thought the scorn heaped on his work by certain artistes was proof of their own intellectual bankruptcy. "Illustrator," they sneered, as if there were anything wrong with painting pictures that wonderfully evoke particular places or stories. Here are two of my favorite Wyeths:
The Wind from the Sea
Another of my favorites shows one of Wyeth's friends, who was dying of cancer, lying in a boat. I haven't been able to find it. Does anyone remember what that one is called?
Part of my fascination with Wyeth has to do with the way he evokes two landscapes I know very well, the Brandywine Valley of Pennsylvania and Delaware, and coastal Maine. This image shows a place I have never been, but have been many times, because Delaware and eastern Pennsylvania are full of houses just like this one, where the atmosphere is just what I get from this painting:
The Tenant Farmer