Grant Wood created Fall Plowing in 1931 using oil on canvas after gaining national recognition following his previous artwork, American Gothic. The original Fall Plowing painting is currently in the John Deere Art collection. So, what theme did Grant Wood adopt in the Fall Plowing artwork and what was the aim of painting? Read on to find out.

Caspar David Friedrich Paintings
Caspar David Friedrich Paintings

What Theme Was Grant Wood Depicting in Fall Plowing?

The painting depicts a small community in Iowa, Grant Wood's home state. The portrait has a bright and colourful palette contrary to other Wood’s paintings, which he regularly did in muted colours. Besides, Wood painted the artwork on a horizontal canvas and employed a hard-edged style that made his work exceptional. In the Fall Plowing landscape, Wood places the viewpoint of the composition very high, leaving a limited view of the skyline.

In the pictures on the lower third, the portrait shows a plowed field and a dark wood plow in the vicinity. The plow depicts the strength and benefits of working in the rural regions in the United States of America. There is a small green section with long leaves of the grass in the plow location. Beyond the grass leaves, a brown region forms circular lines that create cultivated land going down the hill. The land has green and yellow leaves with small and precise brushstrokes.

Grant Wood painted Fall Plowing when he was at the peak of his creativity. In this artwork, he painted the sky with looser small strokes that go from pure white to blue. In another section of the painting, there is a vast white area at the centre with white towers. A partitioning goes from green to brown progressively to its left. At the beginning of this section, there are tall trees with bulbous bushes at the top. Every tree and wheat tower projects a big shadow in the land, which indicates that it is a day of intense sun. Further, in the portrait's background, greener fields, trees, and a farm can be accessed via the roads.

What Was the Aim of Fall Plowing by Grant Wood?

Grant Wood’s style was regionalism in the Fall Plowing artwork. The canvas aims to retain the definitive component of American identity; thus, it focuses on the land and its fields, aiming to reinstate the idea of the countryside as a nurturing and abundant ecosystem. Additionally, the landscape emphasised the importance of modern technology depicted in making the prairie land a workable agricultural land.