A Critique Of Cradling Wheat

This essay has a total of 502 words and 3 pages.

A Critique of Cradling Wheat

Often times people tend to look at a work of art and only see a
picture. Later, if one looks closer a clear message or meaning is
depicted by the artist. Thomas Hart Bentonís work, Cradling
Wheat, for example is just a picture at first glance, but as one
examines the painting closer, the story behind it becomes evident.
This tempera and oil on board composition illustrates four
men in a field threshing and bundling wheat. Benton draws the
viewers eye forward by placing the characters in the foreground of
the work and the surrounding landscape in the back. Here, the
American artist presents the focal point he intended. The faces of
the men in the piece are all hidden by hats, distance, or turned
backs. By hiding their faces the conclusion can be drawn that
these men are hired hands. Benton emphasizes the type of men
by presenting them in similar clothing. All dressed in charcoal
trousers and sky-blue work shirts, they appear to be wearing
uniforms. Perhaps the artist feels that most farm hands were
no-named and insignificant and expresses his opinion by giving
them these characteristics. Assumable is the fact that the
painting depicts times before electricity and the invention of
motors because the men are using hand tools to cut and bundle
the wheat. Included in the focal point, of course, is the wheat.
Benton combines texture and a vivid shade of tan to bring the
wheat field to life. While the texture of the wheat is definite, it is
also soft, creating the effect of a light breeze in the Midwestern

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