Label Text: This Midwestern scene, typical of Mathias Alten’s work and the American Regionalist impulse, honors the quiet dignity of agrarian labor. Alten heightens the drama of evening light at the close of a long day’s work. Thickly applied paint gives substance to the illuminated clouds and last rays of sun through the trees. The horses’ manes and tails glow before the light. Corn cobs—described by mere strokes of yellow and gold—mirror the sun’s warm brilliance.
This German-born artist lived in Grand Rapids, but often traveled abroad. Exposure
to the European Impressionist painters’ fascination with light brightened Alten’s color palette. He absorbed European conventions and innovations, but adapted those practices to describe the American landscape with his unique visual vocabulary.