Newell Convers Wyeth

NC Wyeth put the “Golden” in the “Golden Age of Illustration”.  He is the atomic bomb of illustrators.  It behooves me to give some background.

He learned much of his craft from the inimitable Howard Pyle (more on him soon), and illustrated 112 books in his career.  Not everyone knows that he was a cowboy.  But yes, he was.

In the Crystal Depths 1906

NC Wyeth, In the Crystal Depths, 1906

from Kidnapped, the Murderer of Roy Campbell of Glenure 1913

NC Wyeth, The Murderer of Roy Campbell of Glenure from Kidnapped, 1913

On the Island of Earraid from Kidnapped 1913

NC Wyeth, On the Island of Earraid from Kidnapped, 1913

From The Black Arrow 1916

NC Wyeth, from The Black Arrow, 1916

Robin-Hood-by-N.C.-Wyeth 1917

NC Wyeth, from Robin Hood, 1917

At the time he was working, the camera (Boo! Hiss!) was just coming into play.  His very realist style captures exactly the human quality that escapes a photograph.  Photography will never catch on.  I hate photography.

Captives 1919

NC Wyeth, Captives from Last of the Mohicans, 1919

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NC Wyeth, from The Scottish Chiefs, 1921

The Winged Horse

NC Wyeth, The Winged Horse from Legends of Charlemagne, 1924

Orlando and the Giant Ferragus

NC Wyeth, Orlando and the Giant Ferragus from Legends of Charlemagne, 1924

Ogier and Morgana

NC Wyeth, Ogier and Morgana from Legends of Charlemagne, 1924

Cover

NC Wyeth, Cover for Legends of Charlemagne, 1924

Wyeth had an ability to wrap his scenes in fields of light.  His work feels almost sculptural to me.  Somehow, he knew where the line between “painting” and “illustration” was, and he knew not to mix the two.

As his career progressed, Wyeth’s focus shifted further from realism, into a more expressive use of color and texture.

Eumaeus, the Swineherd, the Odyssey 1929

NC Wyeth, Eumaeus the Swineherd from The Odyssey, 1929

Telemachus in the Chariot of Nestor 1929

NC Wyeth, Telemachus in the Chariot of Nestor from The Odyssey, 1929

The Beggars Fight, the Odyssey 1929

NC Wyeth, The Beggars Fight from The Odyssey, 1929

The Sirens 1929

NC Wyeth, The Sirens from The Odyssey, 1929

NC Wyeth: better than Photography since 1882.

The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come 1931

NC Wyeth, endpapers from The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, 1931

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