A man walking down a street with buildings on once side.

O. Louis Guglielmi

American, 1906–1956

Land of Canaan, 1934

Oil on canvas

30 x 36 inches

Signed lower left


Land of Canaan depicts the textile mills of Peterborough, New Hampshire, where O. Louis Guglielmi lived as a summer fellow at the MacDowell Colony. Representing one of the artist’s earliest forays into his mature aesthetic, Land of Canaan is emblematic of the struggle of rural Americans during the Great Depression. John Baker writes, “in 1934 Guglielmi achieved a new level of artistic strength and distinction in Land of Canaan. The title is bluntly ironic; this bleak industrial environment is hardly a promised land. [Through] concentration on the essentials of posture and facial expression, Guglielmi communicates the human significance of the scene…By combining de Chirico’s poetic isolation of props, such as the smoke stack, with precisionism’s geometrical and compositional order in Land of Canaan Guglielmi broke through to a lucid form for his social vision.” (O. Louis Guglielmi: A Retrospective Exhibition, exhibition catalogue, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1980, p. 9)

A man walking down a street with buildings on once side.