Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth Wind from the Sea tempura on hardboard 1947

Maria Hock has sent in the well-loved painting "Wind from the Sea" by Andrew Wyeth, and she has this to say about it:

This painting is a personal favorite of mine. I love the movement in the lace curtain and the sepia toned palette. It's such a simple subject that I would have never considered for myself.

Here is a less well-known painting:

Andrew Wyeth Squall tempura on hardboard 1986

So much has been written debating the merits of the work of Andrew Wyeth that I scarcely feel the need to add my own two cents, but I'll give it a quick try anyhow.

In 1977 the art historian Robert Rosenblum called Wyeth "both the most overrated and underrated artist of our century", an interesting statement that needs a little picking apart. I think Rosenblum might mean that those who dismiss his work as sentimental and overly dependent on technique are missing the emotional depth, and the very unsentimental depiction of death's foreboding in everyday life. And perhaps some of Wyeth's ardent fans are overly impressed by the intensity of detail, and the ever-present sense of nostalgia for the slower pace of life in the past.

I am intensely fond of Andrew Wyeth's watercolors. Here is one that demonstates a typically powerful sense of abstraction:

Andrew Wyeth Benjamin's House watercolor 1955

“Nature is not lyrical and nice; behind the peace is violence."
~ Andrew Wyeth 

Inspired by the paintings of Gabriella Soraci, the month of October will be devoted to looking at paintings that use a window as a central subject. I plan to alternate between contemporary artists and artists from the past. If you have a suggestion (not your own work please), please email me an image along with a few sentences about the work. 


  1. Taryn, I'm really enjoying these 'window' posts. Thanks

  2. "Wind from the Sea" just takes my breath away. I absolutely love that painting. Thank you for this series of very insightful "window" paintings and the interesting selection of artists. I look forward to what you will show us next... you are doing a wonderful thing with this meaningful blog!

  3. Andrew Wyeth’s paintings: “Cristina’s World”and “Wind from the sea”
    An ekphrastic poem a prose poem

    Post the 2 paintings

    In my imagination, Cristina crawls towards her farm house
    every day the same wind sea-salt anodyne that tosses the curtains,
    braces me, deep weirs of the coast, memories trapped in skeins of sea netting.

    She is coming my very way hieratic, forever;
    the way i am looking through the window
    in the painting-towards the small graveyard –that way
    where she is buried with brother Alvaro
    inlet thru the fir trees just beyond

    I’’m in the kitchen, Andy and Cristina are still talking;
    Andy paints her blue boat in the side shed and
    the lilac bush jostles the silvery grey slats of the farm house

    in Maine weather sun and blues always there in the greys
    whether it’s foggy or not- light like wind
    from the sea reflected of water, the whole coast bright that way, velvet added
    to violet torches of lupine, gold lichen on gravestones

    the word “slant” needs to make it into the poem


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