January Lobby Painting- A Crow Flew By By Andrew Wyeth

You can see the original of this painting, A Crow Flew By, 

By Andrew Wyeth,

at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan!


In this painting, entitled A Crow Flew By, we see a realistic man in a simple room.   The artist did not soften the sitter by making him look better or in better circumstances.  The man’s expression looks serious and a little sad.

The three dominant elements of art are texture, color, and value.  Wyeth uses texture to realistically show the fabric of the clothing and the wood.  The earth tones in this painting give it warmth.  Only certain items are highlighted by the patch of light.  The man’s face is both lit and in shadow.    

The main principle of design used by the artist is balance.  Although the painting looks unbalanced, it is thought that the empty space on the right side of the painting balances the left side.  The empty space makes us think of loneliness and solitude.

About the Artist

Andrew Wyeth was an American artist born in 1917.  His father was the well-known illustrator N.C. Wyeth.  Andrew’s father taught him about art and when he was twenty years old, he had his first art show in New York.  It was a huge success and launched his career.  Andrew Wyeth was not influenced by contemporary art.  Instead, his paintings of landscapes and people were realistic, sometimes looking almost like a photograph.  He had favorite subjects he liked to paint over and over such as the hill in his backyard and his neighbor, Christina. 

Question: After looking at this painting, what can you infer about the subject?