Andrew Wyeth created a masterpiece in the winter of 1946: ‘Winter’, which features a watercolor of the American country farm experience. The painting shows a stiff and inactive horse, two figures walking away from it and some outbuildings in the distance. The horse’s body represents the bareness and silence of winter, while the stillness of the figures is meant to create an atmosphere of quietude that envelopes viewers of this painting. Furthermore, through concise brushstrokes and desolate forms, Wyeth conveys a solemn mood which speaks to emotional experiences during this backdrop.
‘Winter’ shows Andrew Wyeth’s artistic growth as he transitions from realistic depictions to encapsulating emotion in his works. For this painting specifically, he used muted tones and restricted brushstrokes as compared to his earlier paintings such as ‘Christina’s World’ (1948). In this widely-loved piece, he portrays a vulnerable woman hunched over in view of her decrepit house with a dirt road leading away from the scene. Through complex shading techniques and caressing thin brushstrokes, Wyeth conveys intense emotion within Christina’s body language while hinting at her longing for something more distant than her current reality.
In both ‘Winter’ (1946) and ‘Christina’s World’ (1948), Andrew Wyeth showcases his mastery at capturing emotions through masterful craftsmanship. By comparing these expressions between his different time periods, we can gain greater insight into the range of sentiment Wyeth was capable of depicting in his striking paintings.