Art Analysis: American Gothic By Grant Wood

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The 1930 painting titled “American Gothic” illustrated by Grant Wood is perhaps one of the most renowned and recognized paintings in American history. It has continually maintained a role throughout numerous popular culture references, and is considered by many to be possess a definite historical value. That does not go without saying, however, that this detailed portrait doesn’t have an assured extent of persuasion appraisal, an amount that has carved both the piece and its illustrator a notch in history. The Great Depression was one of the most chastening, degrading periods of time in American history. The crash of the stock market in 1929 left most of the U.S. decrepit and penniless, leaving millions of individuals and families to suffer from starvation…show more content…
This predicament is vividly personified within the aforementioned painting, featuring a man and woman who are presumably married staring down the onlooker with sunken, hardened faces that signal they have been through some extremely tough times. A pitchfork in the forefront of the painting and a barn in the far right corner indicate that the pair are farmers, and have indeed suffered harshly due to the vilified economy that has seemingly worked against them for many long years. Its painfully detailed, elegant brushwork and the unyielding expression on the two figures were stimulated by the painter Wood’s experiences with Flemish Renaissance art, which he studied diligently throughout his travels to Europe between 1920 and 1926. His incentive for the piece came from visiting a small town by the name of Eldon in his home state of Iowa, and coming across a house with a single, vast window made in the classic style architects refer to as “Carpenter Gothic”. “I imagined American Gothic people with their faces stretched out long to go with this American Gothic house,” he stated when asked about the origin of the painting. After the completion of this painting, Wood became beholden towards
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