You must have seen Andrew Wyeth’s classic masterpiece ‘Christina World’ but you might not know these 8 things about the widely acclaimed painting.
Christina’s World is one of the most famous paintings of american history. This realistic masterpiece with aww-inspiring detail was made by Andrew Wyeth. Throughout his artistic career, Wyeth made a plethora of exquisite paintings teeming with realism but one thing almost never changed was his muse; Anna Christina.
Here are the 8 things you need to know about Christina’s World
It was Olson's home, which she shared with her younger brother, Alvaro. But Wyeth took some liberties with its architecture and surrounding landscape to better emphasize the scope of Christina's journey.
The 31-year-old Wyeth modeled the painting's frail-looking brunette after his neighbor in South Cushing, Maine. Anna Christina Olson suffered from a degenerative muscular disorder that prevented her from walking. Rather than using a wheelchair, Olson crawled around her home and the surrounding grounds, as seen in Christina's World.
Following Wyeth's death in 2009 at the age of 91, the museum allowed Christina's World to visit its creator's birthplace, Chadds Ford, Penn, where the Brandywine River Museum exhibited the polarizing painting for two days in memorial before returning it to New York.
Down the hill from the Olson house lies a cemetery, where Andrew Wyeth's grave can be found in the family plot of Alvaro and Anna Christina Olson. Wyeth's tombstone faces up toward the house at an angle that closely resembles that of Christina's World. According to his surviving family, it was his final wish "to be with Christina."
Alfred Barr, the founding director of the Museum of Modern Art, was so taken with Wyeth’s work that he purchased Christina's World for $1800. While the early critical reception was lukewarm to cool, the painting's prestigious position at MoMA fortified its reputation. Today it’s one of the museum's most admired exhibits.
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.”
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.
She was a recurring muse and model for Wyeth, captured in paintings like Miss Olson, Christina Olson, and Anna Christina.
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