Paul Revere's Midnight Horse Riding - Grant Wood. 1931.
The painting “The Night Rise of Paul Revere”, in popularity among Grant Wood’s canvases, is in second place, second only to his immortal “American Gothic”. In the Russian translation, the work presented is most often referred to as "Paul Revere's Midnight Horse Riding."
The canvas was dedicated to a historical event. On the night of April 18, 1775, Boston messenger Paul Revier galloped at great speed from Boston to Lancaster to inform everyone of the British landing.
Looking at the picture, you do not immediately notice the messenger to whom the canvas is dedicated - the image of the city with houses and a hilly landscape attracts attention. All the elements seemed to be cut out of paper: the painter so clearly and accurately traced them. The role of light is also noteworthy. The street seemed to be illuminated by a full bright moon.
This painting holds a very interesting record - it depicts the longest road in the history of painting. Indeed, we see how it goes around the composition from edge to edge. In general, the composition can be compared with the illustration for a children's book. The horse under the horseman seemed to be written off from a wooden toy, the houses seemed to be cut out of paper, the artist portrayed the light in the windows as bright yellow, and people in nightgowns running out of doll buildings themselves resemble doll figures.
Why did the author choose such a style? The answer lies in understanding the essence of the artist. He rejected the heavy, directly “cast-iron” realism of contemporary art, regionalism, singing simplicity and love for his homeland. Aoyva Grant was affectionate and kind sarcasm. He himself argued that this is precisely what he sees the world around him. So the viewer, considering the work, looks at this rich plot through the eyes of the author of the picture.
Grant chose the unusual perspective for a reason. We see a bird's-eye view. From this height, the real city seems a little puppet, geometric, ethereal. The culmination of the composition, the artist moved to the left side of the canvas. And this is by no means a rider, but an exaggerated high spire of the city church. The author emphasized the dominant position of this part of the picture with light.
The painting “The Night Rise of Paul Revere” is another high-profile evidence of how far Wood was from his current trends. He managed to create something new and, with all his geometric alignment, was certainly emotional and vibrant. Does everyone like the work of Grant Wood - not everyone, of course. But one thing is absolutely certain: once you see at least one picture of him, the style and handwriting of this master can no longer be confused with anyone.