Wyeth, Andrew (1917-...), probably ranks as the most popular American painter of his time. He is best known for his realistic and thoughtful pictures of people and places in rural Pennsylvania and Maine.
Wyeth's paintings show uncrowded rural scenes that are reminders of earlier American life. His works include pictures of old buildings with bare windows and cracked ceilings, and abandoned boats on deserted beaches. Such scenes portray the remains of past activity rather than the accomplishments of the present. Wyeth also depicts the people he knows. In 1986, he revealed a group of works representing a neighbor named Helga. She had been one of his favorite subjects for 15 years. An example of his portraits, Albert's Son, appears in the Painting article in the print version of The World Book Encyclopedia.
Wyeth paints in a style that follows the tradition of Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer, two American realist painters of the late 1800's. His work is often extremely detailed. Wyeth paints in egg tempera, a medium that allows him to represent tiny details and gives his pictures a smooth, delicate surface. He also uses a water color technique called dry brush.
Wyeth was born in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. His father, N. C. Wyeth, was a noted illustrator. He gave Andrew an appreciation of disciplined drafting skills. Andrew Wyeth's son Jamie is also a painter.
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