Christina's World

Painter: Andrew Newell Wyeth

Year: 1948

Perhaps because it has been misunderstood as a depiction of teenage angst, for decades Christina's World was a dorm room poster staple. The woman actually depicted in the painting is Christina Olson, a woman who was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a degenerative disease. Wyeth imbues the scene with emotion -- even for the viewer who is unaware of Olson's plight -- through the taut, yet invisible line stretching between her head and the peak of the house. Christina's destination seems impossibly far away.