Cheles Luciano is behind The Italian Renaissance in American Gothic

Cheles Luciano is the author of The Italian Renaissance of American Gothic: Grant Wood and Piero della Francesca, a critique of Grant Wood’s books, including his favorite, American Gothic. Luciano was born on September 7, 1948, as the son of Alberto and Agata, and employed at the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Poitiers as of November 2017. Luciano uses a review process in conjunction with perspectives gathered from several peer-reviewed secondary sources. He contends that the majority of Wood’s best-known works are, in fact, compositionally indebted to the Italian Renaissance, especially Piero della Francesca in the aftermath of Modernist aesthetics.
The discussion on the American Gothic is part of a wider discussion assessing the most notable works of Grant Wood. Luciano first describes the drawing in vivid terms illustrating how the “two figures are posing frontally in the drawing’s immediate foreground with the male figure shown clutching a pitchfork.” He limits his focus to the geometrical style employed by Grant speaking of how the artist uses simple linear realism designs with a careful spatial arrangement, which are made of flattened forms among other things. Such description is then counterchecked with the works of Peiro Della Francesca to identify potential similarities.


Through American Gothic and other drawings, Luciano finds some correlation between the works of Luciano and those of Piero della Francesca. Luciano finds a strong presence of Piero della Francesca in Grant’s work despite the latter’s work being prepared in the times of the Italian Renaissance and the former’s work being prepared in the Gothic times. Luciano sums the paper by asserting, “In light of Wood’s imaginative re-creations and reinterpretations of the master’s art, it is alluring to see him as the American heir to Piero della Francesca”. He stresses that the geometric similarities between the two painters are substantial enough to warrant an inspiration.


The method employed by Luciano is sufficiently convincing as it borrows from scholarly sources. Also, the fact that it is a journal means that experts have adequately reviewed the work and found it to be credible. Besides, the study is founded on a relevant piece of history that continues to define the American culture. The American Gothic provides an important perspective on the lives of Americans who lived in the early 1990s. Also, the paintings have served as an important parade in the modern world helping Americans to understand and define their identity with respect to other cultures. Nonetheless, I find the approach of combining many pieces of artwork in one review article as being somewhat less effective in the ability to inform and convince an average audience.

Annotated Bibliography

Luciano Cheles, “The Italian Renaissance in American Gothic: Grant Wood and Piero della Francesca,” American Art 30, no. 1 (Spring 2016): 106-124.

The American Gothic

Luciano Cheles writes reviews, amongst other drawings by Grant Wood, American Gothic. The piece claims that the artworks of Grant Wood bear substantial similarities to those of Piero della Francesca despite the two living in different art eras. To prove its assertion, the paper reviews some of the outstanding works of Grant Wood, identifying outstanding similarities and comparing different aspects with works of Piero della Francesca. Eventually, Luciano finds some resemblances between the two artists. The piece is a recent publication and thus offers a reliable information.


Luciano Cheles, “The Italian Renaissance in American Gothic: Grant Wood and Piero della Francesca,” American Art 30, no. 1 (Spring 2016): 106-124.

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