The painting "American Gothic" (Grant wood)


2018-03-17 12:25:50




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Many geniuses and creators in the arts are not recognized by critics and by society in life. After years they begin to understand and feel, firmly believing that the artist or poet had their own special view of things. Then they start to admire, added to the incredibly talented people of his era. That's what happened to wood and Grant, who almost a hundred years ago portrayed his vision of a way of life of the inhabitants of the New world in the painting "American Gothic". It was quite a complex artist, with its own character and style.

picture of American Gothic

A few words about the artist's childhood

Many critics and experts in the field of art believe that before analyzing the picture, especially the one that caused a huge public resonance, it is necessary to learn a little about the Creator of a masterpiece. This should be done only in order to understand the motives or the message of the artist. Speaking about the Grant wood painting "American Gothic" which is still a matter of controversy and some disagreement among the experts in the world, is to say that his early years were unremarkable.

He was Born in a small agricultural farm on the outskirts of the state of Iowa, the same one that in America. In addition, the family had two boys and a girl. The father of the family differed violent temper and strictness. He left pretty early from life. Grant a close and trusting relationship with the mother, perhaps because of this, he grew very sensitive, vulnerable and the most talented of all the children in the family.

picture of American Gothic, grant wood

Misunderstood genius

Growing up and choosing for themselves the artistic path, Grant wrote a sufficient number of paintings, however his work was not appreciated properly. It is not recognized in the art, often not taking seriously his work.


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American Gothic description of a picture

About the time in which the picture was written

"American Gothic" by American artist Grant wood was painted in 1930. It has been very difficult for several reasons:

  1. First, in 1929, America went into an economic crisis, which, incidentally, did not prevent the rapid steps taken by the state in the field of construction and industry. The country has built a new, hitherto unknown high-rise buildings. It was a period of novelty and technology.
  2. Second, all over the world as rapidly as the industry, gaining momentum fascism. A new trend, and the ideology of Adolf Hitler strengthened in the minds of people who sought to perfect the future.
  3. This list, perhaps, is the fact that personal of the artist. Wood Grant had already a sufficient amount of time lived in France and Munich, Germany. Some critics felt that these wanderings around the world have added the painting "American Gothic" a lot from the European way of life.

After all the above, you can try to make some idea about the artist, about his character and life. Well, when this is done, is to proceed directly to the analysis of the painting "American Gothic".

American Gothic painting American artist grant wood

It's All in the details

To Perform the painting only if it is to describe in detail. So, in the foreground are depicted two people: a woman and a man, who is apparently much older than she is. Wood Grant repeatedly said that I was trying to show father / daughter, but it is known that he painted his sister and dentist Byron Maccabi. According to the artist, the latter differed quite cheerful disposition. However, in the painting "American Gothic", he appears reserved, not to say harsh. His gaze is directed straight in the eyes looking at the canvas man, and it is impossible to understand what happens next: whether he would smile, or get angry. His face is drawn, so detailed, I could make out every wrinkle, which it abound.

The woman's Look directed sideways, somewhere outside the picture. A man and his daughter stand in the center, and woman holding the arm of an elderly person. In his hands the fork to his blade upwards, he holds a strong enough grip. It seems as if depicted by Grant wood people are trying to defend their home against which they are drawn.

The House is a old building in the American style. Another nuance that is found on closer examination: in the picture are all made by people: men shirt, apron, women, Yes, indeed, and a mansard roof.

If you pay attention for the background of the painting "American Gothic", it seems like Grant wood had not neglected him. The trees represented in the form of geometric shapes and they are absolutely drawn and generalized. By the way, if you look closely, the picture is a lot of geometry: triangular roof, straight lines of the Windows, forks that resonate with piping on the shirt men.

The Tone in which painting can be described as quite calm. Perhaps it's the description of the painting "American Gothic," from which it becomes clear why many Americans saw themselves in it: these houses were almost all families living in both the West and East coast of the mainland.

picture of American Gothic analysis

Ratings companies

The Painting "American Gothic" created a furor. Someone was excited, but was unhappy. The people of Iowa considered the image of their way of life the mockery of the artist, and one lady even threatened physical violence against the Grant wood. She promised to bite off his ear. Many people accused the artist in antipathy to anything new, calling him a conservative and a hypocrite, because he portrayed the old house on the threshold of a new civilization. The artist himself once said about his painting: "I tried to portray these people as they were for me in the life that I knew...".

Century Later

It is Worth noting that after a while the picture is still at the peak of popularity. In her parodies, she admired her don't understand her. But all this did not prevent American Gothic become a kind of symbol of the lifestyle of those years. Almost a century later critics to consider it the unwavering spirit of the American pioneers. Well, the last thing must be mentioned: Grant wood was able to "hook" a huge number of people to be his masterpiece, forcing the public to discuss, to argue about the painting "American Gothic".


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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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