Cradling Wheat ~ A Painting by Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton, Cradling Wheat

Cradling Wheat (1938) by Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) was one of a group of American artists who painted ordinary people in everyday settings. His 1938 painting Cradling Wheat shows three men and a boy harvesting grain. Their bent backs engaged in toil are echoed in the shape of the hills behind them and suggest a close relationship between the workers and their environment. The man on the left is using an old-fashioned cradling scythe, so the process of cutting wheat in this manner is called “cradling.”