Newell Convers Wyeth (American, 1882-1945)
That Endless Stream Across the Dubuque Ferry was Flowing on Ahead of Me, and the Fast-Going Part of it Was Passing Me Every Hour Like Swift
Schooners Outstripping a Slow, Round-Bellied Square-Rigger.
1921. Signed "N C Wyeth" l.l.
Oil on canvas, 30 x 29 1/4 in. (76.2 x 74.3 cm), framed.
Condition: Craquelure, surface grime.
N.B. N. C. Wyeth viewed himself as both a painter and illustrator, and struggled with dichotomy of the two roles throughout his career. A Massachusetts native, Wyeth first studied with artists Eric Pape, Charles W. Reed, and Charles H. Davis. In 1902, influenced by his father's pragmatism, he left to study with Howard Pyle, America's foremost illustrator, who established an art school in Wilmington, Delaware.
Wyeth, encouraged by Pyle, headed West to Colorado and New Mexico in 1904. Wyeth had began to display interest in the west, in 1903 he wrote "[the west] had never been painted except by Remington and he has only pictured the brutal and gory side of it and not the sublime and mysterious qualities of those limitless plains and their heros [sic]" (1) Wyeth's first published illustration was a bucking bronco, which appeared on a 1903 cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Following this, Pyle urged the young artist to inform his work with first-hand experience. As Boehme writes, "Thus the tenacious Newell Convers Wyeth demonstrated his mettle and the lengths he would go to gain authentic western experiences…he sought to understand the life of the West so that he could portray it honestly in paintings intended as illustrations for books and magazines." (2)
This work was an illustration for Herbert Quick's Vandemark's Folly, which was published in Ladies Home Journal over the course of six months, 1921-1922 (vol. XXXVIII, no. 10, October 1921). This work is included in Christine B. Podmaniczky's N.C. Wyeth: Catalogue Raisonne of Paintings (Chadds Ford: Brandywine River Museum, 2008), no. I.880.
(1) N.C. Wyeth to Henriette Wyeth, 29 November 1903, reprinted in "The Wyeths: The Letters of N.C. Wyeth 1901-1945. ed. Betsy James Wyeth (Boston: Gambit , 1971). Pg 65
(2) Boehme, Sarah E. "N.C. Wyeth: From Hashknife to Palette Knife" Points West Online, Fall 2002
There is some minute scattered retouch (a few scattered dots). Areas of craquelure throughout. The work might benefit from a gentle cleaning. There is a label from Lyman Allen Museum Conservation Laboratory affixed to the backing.