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Trodden Weed, 1951 by Andrew Wyeth

A self-portrait. It was after a dangerous eight-hour operation on my lung. Afterward I walked and walked the country around Chadds, getting my strength back, wearing these French cavalier's boots which belonged to the painter Howard Pyle. As I walked, I had to watch my feet because I was so unsteady. And I suddenly got the idea that we all stupidly crush things underfoot and ruin them - without thinking. Like the weed here getting crushed. That black line is not merely a compositional device it's the presence of death. Before my operation I had been looking at Albrecht Durer's works. During the operation they say my heart stopped once. At that moment \I could see Durer standing there in black, and he started coming at me across the tile floor. when my heart started, he, Durer - death - receded. So this painting is highly emotional - dangerous and looming. I like it. ”
- Andrew Wyeth