N.C.Wyeth: Catalogue Raisonne of Paintings

This beautiful two volume catalogue of the paintings of American artist N.C.Wyeth has just landed on the shelves and proves, if proof were needed, that great art is not only created for the walls of galleries and stately homes. One of the finest realist artists of his generation, Newell Convers Wyeth (to give him his full moniker) created a vast amount of work to illustrate books and magazines; Wikipedia credits him with over 3,000 paintings.  His most famous illustrations for books such as Treasure Island and Robin Hood have become so intimately connected with those works that it’s hard to imagine them in any other way. This wonderful tribute to his work comes from the Wyeth Foundation for American Art and the Brandywine River Museum, and is published jointly along with Scala Publishers.

Wyeth Foundation/Scala, 2008

Wyeth Foundation/Scala, 2008

Howard Pyle: His Life, His Work

Looking through the Wyeth volumes I was reminded that his teacher was another great illustrator, Howard Pyle, whose influence on generations of artists and illustrators is almost incalculable. It was Pyle who established what was to become the Brandywine School in Pennsylvania which counts among its students some of the greatest names in American illustration and popular art. Pyle’s work on books such as Treasure Island and the legends of King Arthur  remains startlingly fresh, and I have a strong suspicion that Captain Jack and the Pirates of the Caribbean wouldn’t look quite the same without his striking vision of things piratical.

Oak Knoll Press, 2004

Oak Knoll Press, 2004

Frank E. Schoonover: Catalogue Raisonne

Another student of Howard Pyle but perhaps a less familiar name, Frank Earle Schoonover was just as prolific as his colleagues, and for over 40 years created the most wonderful array of illustrations and paintings for countless magazines and books. Easily identifiable as a member of the Brandywine School, his draughtsmanship, sense of drama and lush use of colour all position him as a key figure in this astonishing “golden age” of illustration.

Oak Knoll Press, 2009

Oak Knoll Press, 2009

Winslow Homer: An American Vision

One of the greatest American artists of the 19th century, I include this lovely book on Winslow Homer as it seems to me that his shadow looms large across the work of these later artists.

Phaidon, 2006

Phaidon, 2006

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