|N. C. Wyeth in his studio, c1903|
Wyeth was gifted as a watercolorist from an early age and studied illustration under Howard Pyle, considered today as the father of American illustration. Pyle taught his students to respect historical accuracy, while adding a romantic flair, traits that became marks of Wyeth's style and surely shaped the imagination of a generation of readers of early frontier fiction.
His first commissioned work was a cover for Saturday Evening Post in 1903 depicting a bucking bronco, and in the following year, he provided illustrations in the same magazine for a western story. Shortly afterward, with the encouragement of Pyle, he travelled widely in the West, soaking up impressions of the landscape, westerners, and Native American culture.
Below are his illustrations for frontier fiction novels published during 1906-1922.
Frank H. Spearman, Whispering Smith (1906)
Alfred Henry Lewis, The Throwback (1906)
Henry Wallace Phillips, Mr. Scraggs (1906)
Stewart Edward White, Arizona Nights (1907)
Thomas Nelson Page, Under the Crust (1907)
Kate and Virgil Boyles, Langford of the Three Bars (1907)
Randall Parrish, Beth Norvell: A Romance of the West (1907)
Frank H. Spearman, Nan of Music Mountain (1916)
Herbert Quick, Vandemark's Folly (1922)
For Tuesday's Overlooked Movies and TV, click on over to Todd Mason's blog, Sweet Freedom.
Image credits: From first editions of the novels as indicated
Coming up: Giles A. Lutz, The Honyocker (1961)