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N.C. (Newell Convers) Wyeth (American, 1882-1945) The Youth. Master, I Shall Not Fail You.

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American & European Works of Art - 2547B
Date / Time :
May 20, 2011 12:00PM


N.C. (Newell Convers) Wyeth (American, 1882-1945)

The Youth. Master, I Shall Not Fail You., 1915
Signed "N.C. WYETH" u.r., faintly identified on a label from Scribner's Magazine
affixed to the reverse.
Oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 16 1/8 in. (61.3 x 40.9 cm), framed.
Condition: Small puncture to l.l. corner, craquelure, varnish inconsistencies, subtle surface grime.

Provenance: The artist (returned to N.C. Wyeth on September 15, 1915, per Scribner's inventory card #32698), purchased c. 1915-1919 as a wedding gift to George B. Utter (son of Rhode Island governor George Herbert Utter) and Katherine L. Wilbar Utter, Westerly, Rhode Island; private collection by family descent.

Literature: Stephen Phillips, "No. 6/ A Dramatic Sketch in Three Scenes," Scribner's Magazine, Vol. LVIII, No. 2, August 1915 (color illustration p. 131); Douglas Allen and Douglas Allen, Jr. N.C. Wyeth, The Collected Paintings, Illustrations and Murals, New York: Crown Publishers, 1972, p. 276; Christine B. Podmaniczky, N.C. Wyeth, A Catalogue Raisonne of Paintings, London: Scala, 2008, I.593, p. 316; Brandywine River Museum N.C. Wyeth Catalogue Raisonne. "The Youth. Master, I shall not fail you. [NCW Number 1418]" Accessed March 15, 2011.

N.B. The present work illustrates a moment of artistic and divine inspiration in the first scene of Phillips' fictional play, "No.6." Italian painter Andrea Donati has been struggling for ten years to complete his masterpiece in the Milan Cathedral, lacking the last two faces he needs to symbolize good and evil. Suddenly, a choir boy "with a face of singular beauty" emerges before Donati from the chancel, stepping into a ray of light from the transept window. Thrilled by this angelic vision, Donati asks the boy to return tomorrow to model for his composition. The youth, flattered to be an artist's muse, bows humbly and replies "Master, I shall not fail you."
Estimate $20,000-40,000

Puncture to l.l. corner measures approx. 3/8 x 3/8 in., craquelure primarily to l.l. corner, no additional condition issues to report.


Wyeth, Stephen Phillips, Scribner's Magazine, Newell Convers, Rhode Island, George B. Utter, George Herbert Utter, Westerly, Andrea Donati, Douglas Allen, Douglas Allen , Jr., Christine B. Podmaniczky, London,, Milan Cathedral, muse, N.C. Wyeth