A well known example of American Realism is Andrew Wyeth. He has a
certain "affection" for the objects and people which surround him. These
Wyeth records with remarkable likeness, poetic charm, and a "powerful
silence". These statements can be applied to both people and still life. I
agree with David McCord in his statement in Andrew Wyeth, page 24, "to
that powerful silence one must add enormous stillness."
All of Wyeth's works emit that special poetic charm, but it is best
illustrated in his use of water versus the landscape. In River Cove the water
sits so still and calm it appears to be dead. The only life visible on the land is
a few clam and mussel shells along with the tracks left behind by some local
bird. The only fauna that can be seen is reflection of evergreens in the water.
This painting is hauntingly still with a profound simplicity.
There are no
people visible, and no evidence of people inhabiting the area. In this sense
the viewer has a "birds eye view" of an untouched, natural paradise.
The "powerful silence" and "enormous silence" described by David
McCord in the opening paragraph is most apparent in Wyeth's distinguished
piece appropriately named after its subject entitled Christina's World.
In Christina's World Wyeth depicts his young neighbor struggling to
reach a farm house, perhaps her home, in the distance. The strongest
emotion which radiates from this painting is silence. There are no other
figured in the portrait as the crippled girl looks longingly to the farm. A
slight breeze is detectable as strands of Christina's hair float as wisps. The
sea-shell pink dress gives the subject a sense of maturity and girl-hood at the
same time. Her back is turned towards the viewer so any emotion Christina