Classic Landscape, 1931
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, Collection of Barney A. Ebsworth
oil on canvas
In 1927, Charles Sheeler was commissioned to photograph the Ford Motor Company’s new River Rouge Plant near Detroit, then the world’s largest industrial complex. His photographs were initially used in the company’s advertising campaigns. Over the next two decades the images inspired a number of other works in different media by Sheeler including one of his greatest masterpieces, Classic Landscape. Evoking the grandeur of classical Greek architecture, the painting has become one of the most widely reproduced and best-known works of its era.