N. C. Wyeth illustration from "The Last of the Mohicans" (1919): rare, beautifully framed antique


The Battle at Glens Falls
    For The Last of the Mohicans
    Illustrations by N. C. Wyeth
    New York. Charles Scribner's Sons. 1919.
    Image Size: H 9.375” x W 7.00”
    Matted & Framed:  H 16.375” x W 14.00”
    Framed Price: $245.00
    Whiteglove handling and shipping
       approximately $25.00

By 1917, the year he created his color-filled illustrations for Robin Hood and The Boy’s King Arthur, NCW had completed his move beyond the shadowy city style of his famous teacher, Howard Pyle. Wyeth’s paintings were clear and bright. Yes—he continued to use Pyle’s technique by composing his scenes with diagonals and interesting lines to create the sense of motion. But unlike Pyle, NCW used contrasting light and dark colors to intensify the action he was depicting.

There is no better example of this than his brilliant “Battle at Glens Falls, the signature illustration in Scribner’s 1919 edition of The Last of the Mohicans. The positions of the combatants are fixed forever on the artist’s canvas, but the viewer sees a swirl of action that has reached the exact moment when one of these two powerful men, wrapped in a deadly contest, will hurl off the precipice and be destroyed!

Wyeth further intensifies the drama of his scene by pitting two exemplars of manhood, being products of competing civilizations from opposite sides of the world, in a match that unfolds in one its most breathtakingly beautiful places. As was his way, Wyeth depicts every straining sinew of the two enemies as they fight to the death.

We are there on the cliff because he is there. All in! Clutching a throat. Heaving his weight. gasping in an unforgiving rage. The reality he depicts is conditioned, however, by the purple of the rocks and the billowing scarlet-hued clouds above the emerald green falls. In these magical colors, we see unknowingly that it is all make belief. A figment of N. C. Wyeth’s unbounded imagination.

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