Christina's World


I do not know why but I would like to expend some several hundred words or so on this picture of a painting by Andrew Wyeth. I have never heard of this painting until today. However, it is supposedly famous and it is housed inside the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Hearing that reminds me of Mimi. Mimi is an art and culture buff and I wonder if she knows about Andrew Wyeth and this painting. If so, we could have talked about it, discussed it, and analyzed it a great deal because going at it alone feels so dissatisfying to me, and I don’t feel like I have the words and the tools necessary for such an exercise. I’ve never really learned how to appreciate art properly.

I feel as though this implies that me being a person who has had “no formal training” on appreciating art, that I am somehow appreciating it in an “improper” manner. Hehe. No matter. I’ll do the best I can anyway.

For some reason, this painting is striking for me. It suggests something so plain and ordinary, I’m wondering what the painter was thinking or seeing when he created it. What made Mr. Andrew Wyeth paint this? What did he see in this? What sort of meaning did he mean to invest in this and what sort of story or concept was he trying to depict and share with others?

Trying to put myself in his shoes, I guess I’d paint of this girl and this world because I know this girl and I know this world, and I want to tell others what I know. Not all of people’s lives are glamorous and lively like that of Elizabeth Taylor’s. Some are, at the opposite end of the spectrum, very plain and ordinary, almost limited, and kind of painful. It would appear to be boring, uneventful, uncolorful, and most certainly, provincial, but nevertheless, there you have it. Some people actually live their lives like this. This painting remembers and tells of the lives of those people. Maybe that was part of Mr. Wyeth’s intentions. After all, nobody would have told of Christina if he hadn’t.

I wonder what life holds for someone like Christina. She seems young, judging by her hair and physique, but she’s also very thin, even frail and fragile. However, she is dressed rather nicely, and the soft shade of pink of the plain dress that she wears suggests femininity, fragility, and yet, cheerfulness. She also has on white socks and brown closed shoes which suggest that she takes care of herself.

If this is her world and that’s all that there is to it, I wonder, is she happy? Does she not want to go places and broaden the circumference of what is known as her world? I am reminded of Belle of Beauty and the Beast. Christina’s world looks like the place where Belle came from, minus the romanticism of it, and Belle had wished to escape “this provincial life” as she called it and had yearned to taste adventure.

But I suppose Belle had both of her legs in good working order and Christina does not. So I guess the painting has a sort of somber note to it, in the sense that, it projects some sort of loss. It suggests that somehow Christina was deprived or withheld from something valuable in life - maybe something like mobility, which would explain why her world is only that.

I guess if Mr. Andrew Wyeth hadn’t thought of painting Christina, the world might not have known of her, and thought of her, wondered about her, or tried to understand her life. The world might not have been invited to imagine what it would have been like to be Christina, and to have had a life like hers. Maybe the world would have pondered about people like Christina less, and be mindful of pain like theirs less.

This painting made me wonder about the girl Christina, but I’m afraid my wonderings about her or about the painting won’t have any definitive answers. But no matter.

I think I have come now to an understanding of what the painting of Christina’s World means to me. The painting tells me about Christina and what her life was like. It suggests to me a little of her pain, maybe something of her struggle, and maybe also something closely resembling something like loss.

I think now that Mr. Wyeth must have felt sorry for her and wordlessly commiserated through his painting with her.

I think I feel sorry for Christina's pain too. And I guess in my own way, as I stared off into space and thought deeply about her, I wordlessly commiserated with her too.


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