The stunning farmhouse chapter from The Last of Us 2 was inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s famous postwar painting ‘Christina’s World‘ which also includes a compelling real-life narrative.
From The SoundView Stadium where the game’s “villain” Abby resides with the W.L.F to the breathtaking scope of downtown Seattle, The Last of Us Part 2 is home to some of the most intricate locations designed in video games.
Almost two years after its release, we are still finding topics to talk about due to its complex characters, next-level immersion and the beauty of destruction. For hardcore fans of The Last of Us 2, you may already know how artist John Sweeney designed the amazing concept art for the game but did you know what incredible painting inspired the iconic yet haunting farmhouse chapter?
Let’s take a look at Andrew Wyeth’s famous postwar painting ‘Christina’s World‘ and the curious real-life narrative behind it.
Andrew Wyeth was an American visual artist and one of the best-known artists of the middle 20th century. Although Wyeth had accumulated many paintings throughout his 70 years of capturing the land and people around him, it was his most famous painting called Christina’s World in 1948 that propelled his talents into the greater world.
Wyeth’s depiction of the farmhouse in Christina’s World was brought about by the story of Anna ‘Christina’ Olson who lived in the 14-room Colonial house in Cushing, Maine with her brother, Alvaro.
Christina had a degenerative muscular disorder, Charcot-Marie Tooth (CMT), which meant that she was unable to walk and fought hard against the notion of using a wheelchair so she would drag herself around the house and property. Wyeth was inspired to create the painting when he saw her crawling across a field while he was watching from a window in the house.
He was so captivated by the house and its occupants that Wyeth even set up a studio within the farmhouse. In a YouTube video essay by Nerdwriter, Wyeth can be heard talking about his inspiration for the beautiful yet haunting painting:
“I saw her crawling out to a little crock garden she had at the house one day and it dawned on me. I went home that night, I remember there was a small party being given at the Jame’s house. “he continues “And in the middle of the party, I rushed out into the room in the studio I painted in and made a quick notation of this idea of Christina in the field and the house in the background.”
What makes the painting even more fascinating is that only certain parts of the figure seen crawling in the field depict Christina Olsen. Wyeth also incorporated his wife Betsy’s more youthful physique and only when looking closer can you spot Christina’s presence by the twisted arms, feet and hands due to her muscular disorder.
Wyeth wanted to include Christina’s whole life in the figure, from her able body when she could walk to her degenerative disorder when it eventually took a hold of her. You can certainly see why Naughty Dog took inspiration from this old house due to its bleakness and in-depth history yet it still holds a certain charm that pulls you towards it, asking to be explored.
The farmhouse still stands today but it’s currently closed to public tours due to ongoing restoration work inside the house. If you fancy taking a virtual tour and imagine yourself as part of that iconic chapter in The Last of Us 2, you can head on over to the official website.