Hell on Wheels and Art. From Rembrandt to Monet and Daumier

Hell on Wheels and Art. From Rembrandt to Monet and Daumier
Isabel del Rio

Hell on Wheels TV series. Main character: Cullen Bohannon

Hell on Wheels is my favorite TV series. I see it over and over again, from season 1 to season 3. And every time, I focus on a different aspect, all of them are worth! The cast, the historical setting, the acting, the screenplay… Today, for example, we can pay attention to the references to works of art of this TV series, especially to classical masterpieces.

Have you seen that incredible painting titled ‘Wanderer above the Sea of Fog’ (1818) by Caspar David Friedrich or this other called Graveyard under Snow’ (1826)? Do not you find similar images to Hell on Wheels?

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818) by Caspar David Friedrich

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818) by Caspar David Friedrich

Yes, of course! They are really similar. Maybe filmmakers didn’t remember Friedrich during shooting or maybe did. It doesn’t matter! Beauty and grandeur reach the same point in different ways and Hell on Wheels is sharing art with Manet and Renoir, with Rembrandt and Brueghel and above all, with Monet (‘Saint Lazare train station’) and Daumier. What do you think of this images?

Honore Daumier

Railway carriage by Honoré Daumier

“I have my art to comfort me, but what have these wretched men and women to live for?” By Honoré Daumier, painter of the Industrial Revolution and the suffering it brought, but also of the new heroes and heroines who resisted the change and dreamed new worlds (see also his “Washerwoman”).

hell on wheels carriage

Hell on Wheels TV series. Railway carriage

And how about American realism? Especially George Wesley Bellows paintings of boxers (1882 –1925) or Alfred Stieglitz portraits and landscapes. For instance, “Winter – Fifth Avenue” (1893) or “The Hand of Man” (1902), thrilling ancient photos, absolutely Hell on Wheels style.

Alfred Stieglitz. The Hand o Man

The Hand of Man by Alfred Stieglitz

The roots of art are always ready to bloom and the eye of artists finish being synchronous. From the 17th century to 2014 and from the center of Europe to the American west, Hell on Wheels is not only a TV series with incredible success, it’s a new manifestation of art.

Enjoy your day, Yareah friends. Art is everywhere and up to you!

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” Pablo Picasso.

elam ferguson 1

Hell on Wheels. Cullen Bohannon and Elam Ferguson


Boxers by George Wesley Bellows

“I just like being on my own on trains, traveling. I spent all my pocket money travelling the London Underground and Southern Railway, what used to be the Western region, and in Europe as much as I could afford it. My parents used to think I was going places, but I wasn’t, I was just travelling the trains.” Tony Judt.

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Isabel del Rio

Managing Editor at Yareah® Magazine. Author of ‘Ariza’ (2008) and ‘The Girls of Oil’ (2010)

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