N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945) was a renowned illustrator of children’s books, magazines, advertisements and other commissioned, commercial art. These activities provided him and his large family with a comfortable income, so by the 1930s he was able to devote more time to his own art, especially landscape painting.
“Summer Chadds Ford” is a typical example. It depicts a towering tree whose branches and foliage extend well beyond the painting’s upper edge. Clustered around this central, great tree are smaller trees and bushes; the rolling hills of the Brandywine Valley are in the distance.
Wyeth painted the work outdoors, in an impressionist style, with intense colors and visible brushstrokes that vary in form and size according to what is being represented. The expressive brushwork activates the scene, evoking the