Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Garden Behind the Moon

Howard Pyle is rightly known for his wonderfully lush color illustrations of books by other authors, and for books which he either wrote or contributed to -- Especially well known are couple of books in particular: a series of four volumes of the collected stories of King Arthur, and the Tales of Robin Hood (which he altered to fit his needs rather willy-nilly). The vivid use of color and action in his art was, in its own way, pioneering. Later in his life, he founded a school of his own to help teach others -- interestingly (at least to me) 40 of his students were women. The school was later recognized as the Brandywine school -- to represent the illustrators, and especially the Wyeth family of artists and their particular view and artistic outlook.

The illustrations in this particular book are all black and white line drawings, but still the artistry and the movement Pyle was able to convey in duotone is quite exceptional.

Very detailed work here.

Even though the illustration is a bit farther away visually than I'd like for this (remember my camera skills), you can still see the emotion on the faces of the people in this plate.

(PS: I'm going to have to try to get a scholarship to the Rare Book School in Virginia for next summer -- several people I know have gone and had a wonderful time -- learned lots too -- so now I'm jealous and need to go too! Also, I could use some study in types of prints & how they were / are made).

This particular book is from 1895 and is one of the last books he wrote and illustrated.

Pyle died in 1911 in Florence Italy.

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