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Word Count: 530
Often times people tend to look at a work of art and only see apicture Later if one looks closer a clear message or meaning isdepicted by the artist Thomas Hart Bentons work CradlingWheat for example is just a picture at first glance but as oneexamines the painting closer the story behind it becomes evidentThis tempera and oil on board composition illustrates fourmen in a field threshing and bundling wheat Benton draws theviewers eye forward by placing the characters in the foreground ofthe work and the surrounding landscape in the back Here theAmerican artist presents the focal point he intended The faces ofthe men in the piece are all hidden by hats distance or turnedbacks By hiding their faces the conclusion can be drawn thatthese men are hired hands Benton emphasizes the type of menby presenting them in similar clothing All dressed in charcoaltrousers and sky-blue work shirts they appear to be wearinguniforms Perhaps the artist feels that most farm hands wereno-named and insignificant and expresses his opinion by givingthem these characteristics Assumable is the fact that thepainting depicts times before electricity and the invention ofmotors because the men are using hand tools to cut and bundlethe wheat Included in the focal point of course is the wheat Benton combines texture and a vivid shade of tan to bring thewheat field to life While the texture of the wheat is definite it isalso soft creating the effect of a light breeze in the Midwesternscene The brightness of the color of the wheat also adds to the atmosphere created by the artist While the background sets acertain mood the brilliance of the wheat helps define the type ofday Benton wanted to portray-a hot summer afternoon Inaddition to the wheat a few small wildflowers are scatteredthroughout the field The philosophy behind the dispersedblossoms suggests a break in the monotony of constancy Thereis a constancy of wheat and a constancy of labor and while theclever American artist is
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