ANDREW WYETH (1917-2009)
After the Rain
signed 'Andrew Wyeth' (lower left)
watercolor and pencil on paper
17 x 29 ¾ in. (43.2 x 75.6 cm.)
Executed in 1939.
[With]Macbeth Gallery, New York, 1939.
Anna Lord Lloyd, Montclair, New Jersey.
By descent to the present owner.
New York, Macbeth Gallery, Second Exhibition of Watercolors by Andrew Wyeth, October 10-30, 1939, no. 25.
This work will be included in Betsy James Wyeth's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work.
Over the course of three generations, the New England state of Maine has played an important role in the lives of the Wyeth family and their artistic legacy. Andrew Wyeth’s father N.C. owned a family home, known as Eight Bells, in Port Clyde and the young Andrew spent many summers there before purchasing his own residence nearby. Many of Andrew’s most celebrated works are the result of his time spent in the state, including Wind from the Sea (1947, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), Christina’s World (1948, Museum of Modern Art, New York), and Sandspit (1953, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts).
Finding inspiration in the familiar subjects that surrounded his everyday life in Maine, Wyeth was able to elevate the seemingly mundane to a highly regarded and thought provoking subject. In After the Rain Wyeth depicts the Lowell and Cushman houses on Horse Point Road in Port Clyde, at a relatively ordinary moment after a New England squall. Yet, Wyeth infuses the work with life through his deft brushwork, heightening the scene with dramatic explosions of strokes forming a blustery wind and a sky filled with dark, nebulous gray clouds, rendered as much with the absence of pigment as with pigment itself. Upon closer inspection, Wyeth’s seemingly dreary palette comes to life with vivid, saturated colors. In addition to the broad spectrum of greens, from a light chartreuse to a deep emerald, Wyeth has cleverly incorporated a deep rouge and a dramatic cobalt blue, enhancing the complexity of the scene.
At the composition's center, two mysterious men, one cloaked in a rain coat and the other apparently in top hat and tails, represent the meeting of Andrew Wyeth’s two celebrated genres--fantastical subjects inspired by his father’s love for adventure, and precisely rendered realism that distinctly represents the people and places of his beloved Maine and Pennsylvania. The result here is an ambiguous, poignant narrative of coastal Maine; a scene of deceptively picturesque quietude, yet one where the air is thick with a sense of mystery.
Please note this lot is the property of a private collector.
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