Friday, November 19, 2010

Fine Arts Friday: The Chadds Ford Wyeths


Chadds Ford Hills, Newell Convers Wyeth

N.C. Wyeth was the father of Andrew Wyeth and grandfather of Jamie Wyeth. His son's work is noted for its muted palette, while N.C. Wyeth's paintings radiate color and atmospheric effect. If you have the opportunity, visit the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, home to many paintings by all the Wyeths.

At the museum, which I visited last year, the effects upon me of the works of N. C. Wyeth and his son were quite different. Many of Andrew Wyeth's paintings I found deeply moving, especially those with the layers of dry tempera rising from the surface of the canvas. The experience is almost religious; despite the apparent simplicity of his subject, its essence is drawn out through the paint signifying a whole world to us, each leaf seeming to drip with the cosmic significance of creation.

N.C. Wyeth's paintings awe in a different way--their human poignancy and the placement and gestures of the figures in his paintings, many of them used as illustrations, draw us into their world. We are caught up in the action; we are dying to know what happens next. The fulsomeness and beauty of the drama, surroundings, and coloration prompt in us a near reverential appreciation of both the fragility and the richness of life.

So in praise of the fall and the Wyeths, here is a painting by N.C. Wyeth of his beloved Chadd Ford Hills, for which I have no words at all.

3 comments:

Thomas at My Porch said...

I love this painting. I am going to have to Google Chadds Ford to see what it is near the next time we head up that direction.

Nan said...

Have you ever read the book by David Michaelis, N.C. Wyeth: a Biography ? I've read only parts, but my gosh, what a family. Incredible coincidences. Really, if you are interested in the Wyeths this is an amazing book.

Linda said...

Nan, Thanks for this biography suggestion. I will try to read that at some point soon. I think that his son followed in his footsteps as a painter says a lot about the kind of man he was. I am interested to learn more. I like his paintings very much and hope to do more Friday posts on them. Thanks.

Hi Thomas,
Chadds Ford is on Route 1 southeast of Philadelphia near the Delaware and near Longwood Gardens (another great place to visit). Very easy to find. Hope you can visit the Brandywine.