Modern Art Monday Presents: Grant Wood, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
Photos By Gail

In his painting from 1931, Grant Wood (1892 – 1942) depicts the legendary story of the American patriot Paul Revere, as learned from an 1863 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. From a bird’s eye view, the painting shows Revere on horseback racing through a colonial town square in Massachusetts. Despite the work’s historical subject matter, Wood did not attempt to depict this scene with factual accuracy. The houses are overly bright, as if lit by electric light, and the dramatic moonlight casts unrealistic shadows. The stylized houses, geometric greenery, and high perspective gives the painting and otherworldly or dreamlike dimensions.

Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (Detail)

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