Thursday, November 25, 2010

American Gothic with Dog

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American Gothic with Dog was painted by Grant Wood in 1930. Wood decided to paint the house and "the kind of people and dog I fancied should live in that house." The painting shows a grim-faced man beside his daughter and their equally stern dog. The pitchfork symbolizes hard labor. The flowers over the woman's right shoulder suggest domesticity. The intense gaze of the working dog tells the viewer this family has no time for playing fetch or rubbing dog tummies.

Wood's models were his dentist, his sister and his barber's dog. In real-life the dog Carmella was a happy-go-lucky hound. But Wood achieved the intensity of the dog's stare by strapping sausage links to his head while he painted.

More Art Hound (by artist)
Grant Wood's American Gothic
More American Gothic parodies