Grape Wine

Andrew Wyeth American

Not on view

This striking portrait depicts Willard Snowden, a drifter who lived in the artist’s Pennsylvania studio for several years and sat for several paintings in the mid-1960s. Wyeth used tempera and set him before a featureless background, elements characteristic of Renaissance portraiture—thereby elevating the humble sitter like the nobility typically featured in such paintings. Sensitively rendered at life-size in a palette of russet browns, the portrait is rich with subtle detail, from the texture of the man’s sweatshirt to the glint of light on his ear and collar. The title may be a reference to Snowden’s habit of greeting studio visitors with a glass of wine, or to the back of this panel, which Wyeth painted a ruby red.

Grape Wine, Andrew Wyeth (American, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania 1917–2009 Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania), Tempera on Masonite

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