84
84

PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF JANE C. WILCOX

N.C. Wyeth
1882-1945
ROMANCE OF ADVENTURE
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 601,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
84

PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF JANE C. WILCOX

N.C. Wyeth
1882-1945
ROMANCE OF ADVENTURE
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 601,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture

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New York

N.C. Wyeth
1882-1945
ROMANCE OF ADVENTURE
signed N.C. Wyeth, l.l.
oil on canvas
31 by 25 1/2 in.
(78.7 by 64.8 cm)
Painted circa 1927.
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This painting is included as number C.66 (303) in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of N.C. Wyeth's work compiled by the Brandywine River Museum and Conservancy, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and to be published February 2008 by Scala Publishers, Ltd.

Provenance

Manado's Bookshop, New York
Chester Marron (acquired from the above), circa 1962
Newman Galleries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Acquired by the present owner from the above

Exhibited

Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, Brandywine River Museum, Art of American Illustration, September-November 1976
Santa Barbara, California, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Enchanted Images: American Children's Illustration: 1850-1925, December 1980-January 1981
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, Brandywine River Museum, Visions of Sugar Plums, November 1984-January 1985

Literature

St. Nicholas Magazine, vol. LV, no. 1, November 1927, p.48, illustrated
Douglas Allen and Douglas Allen, Jr., N.C. Wyeth: The Collected Paintings, Illustrations and Murals, New York, 1972, p. 288, illustrated in color p. 6

Catalogue Note

N.C. Wyeth's career flourished during what is today known as "the golden age of illustration."  From the time his first drawing was published on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in 1903 until his death in 1945, the demand for and success of Wyeth's work was continuous and strong.  In 1911, Wyeth received an important commission from Charles Scribner & Sons to illustrate Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Treasure Island gained Wyeth national recognition and he went on to illustrate a great number of other stories for Scribner Illustrated Classics, including Kidnapped and David Balfour also by Stevenson, as well as works for other publishers.  

As such, it is fitting that the National Association of Book Publishers commissioned N.C. Wyeth to create an image for a poster promoting Children's Book Week, a campaign established in 1919 by educators, booksellers and librarians to encourage literacy among children.  Wyeth, who had already captured children's imaginations with his illustrations for the Scribner's classics, painted Romance of Adventure for the November 1928 book week. 

The resulting poster, Books: Romance, History, Travel features an explorer posed against the side of his vessel.  Behind him, a boldly colored tall ship with flags and sails caught in the wind rocks violently forward in the thrust of a big wave.  The explorer, with feathers in his cap, a spy glass in his hand and the decorated hilt of his sword peering from behind his back, is unfazed by the rough seas.  Instead, this stoic, dark and swarthy, mustachioed explorer gazes into the distance, fierce and determined.

 

Douglas Allen writes of Wyeth's work: "there is a heroic treatment of anatomy, for example, that makes a Wyeth masculine type so gloriously strong and virile-- you look for a new discovery and technique--then that romance of color, of wave, of cloud-- of those authentic, yet fascinating ships that toss or float over seas, fabulously stormy or credibly calm" (N.C. Wyeth, p. 140).

American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture

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New York