Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Howard Pyle

An article about the great American illustrator. (Via Hermes) To quote:
If we look at art over the course of time, we see an intricate web of the influences of one artist on another; influences that, in their crossings and re-crossings, eventually weave the tapestry of styles that we call art history.

Howard Pyle, who is often rightly called “The Father of American Illustration”, is one of those remarkable points within that tapestry where the threads converge, the design is pulled together, reworked and renewed and influence radiates out in fresh patterns.

Pyle revolutionized illustration, both through his own work, which introduced a new level of drama, action and visual excitement to what was largely a staid and restrained art form at the time, and through his influence on his students, who included some of the finest illustrators ever to put lines or colors on a flat surface. Collectively, Pyle and his students helped usher in the “Golden Age of American Illustration”.

Pyle’s impact on the art form known as illustration is hard to overstate. His Durer-influenced pen and ink illustrations are among the finest ever done. He was one of the first illustrators to embrace and understand the new four-color printing process, and his paintings are remarkable for their ground-breaking color, dramatic compositions and emotional impact.



Julygirl said...

Thanks for making him known to those of us who have limited knowledge of the rich field of talented though lesser known artists.

elena maria vidal said...

You're welcome. We can't forget our own American artists.

tubbs said...

You can find the best collections of Pyle, Wyeth, and other Am. illustrators at the Brandywine Museum in Chadds Ford (southeastern) Pennsylvania.

The illustration posted here on the Trianon blog hints at those illustrations so often found in Roman and Anglo- Catholic missals and prayer books from the turn of the last century. Are there any Pyle specialists out there? Did he ever do religious themed work?

ALAS! My Nannan always had a big Pyle illustrated pirate book for us grandchildren. Who only knows what ever happened to it.

Alexandra said...

He has written some wonderful children's books as well. Otto of the Silver Hand is one of my favorites. I haven't read Men of Iron, but I've heard this is a great read for tween and above boys.

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks for reminding us about the books that Pyle wrote. I loved both Otto of the Silver Hand and Men of Iron. I believe he did a wonderful book on King Arthur, too.

Alexandra said...

I just looked this up, but two of my other favorite illustrator/authors, Jessie Willcox Smith and Elizabeth Shippen Green, were part of the "Brandywine School" of illustration of which Pyle was the originator.

Alexandra said...

Yes! I think it might be available at Google books under public domain. I've seen his Arthurian illustrations, just beautiful.

elena maria vidal said...

I didn't know that about the Brandywine School, Alexandra. Yes, a great deal of his work is in the public domain. I love his "Hiawatha" series.

Tubbs, I don't know if Pyle did any liturgical illustrations. That pirate book sounds like a treasure, though! It probably is online somewhere.