|Christina's World, Andrew Wyeth, 1948, tempera on gesso|
Greatly enjoyed Palin on Wyeth, a Culture Show documentary about the American artist Andrew Wyeth, his idyllic childhood - his father was a commercial artist who made a fortune illustrating children's classics like Treasure Island - his rediscovery of egg tempera, a medium which had barely been used since the 16th century- and his lifelong connection with the landscapes and neighbours he painted at Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and Cushing, Maine, home of the Olson farmhouse which literally was Christina's World. When I first encountered this painting, I assumed that the crippled Christina was a young girl but in fact, she's a middleaged woman in her 50s. There is something deeply disturbing in this painting, that diagonal between the house and the woman that almost seems to be her hauling her back from where she has crawled to the boundaries of her world. Well worth seeing and Michael Palin for once not too irritating.