N. C. Wyeth illustration from "Treasure Island" (1911): rare, beautifully framed antique


"All Day He Hung Around the Cove, or Upon the Cliffs with Brass Telescope"

    For Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
    Illustrations by N. C. Wyeth
    New York. Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1911.

    Image Size: H 9.375” x W 6.875”
    Matted & Framed:  H 16.375” x W 13.875”
    Framed Price: $245.00
 Whiteglove packaging and shipping approximately $30.00


Charles Scribner’s Sons launched their illustrated classics series in 1911. They knew NCW because he had, for more than five years, been sending them pieces for their magazines. The Scribners intended to market action stories to boys, and NCW had a knack for capturing action, so they chose NCW to create the pictures for their first book. It would be a new edition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

Following the instruction he received from Howard Pyle, NCW threw himself into the story. He cried every tear, cursed every curse, and fought every villain. Everything about his characters seemed as real therefore as if they were in the room. But the massive success he achieved with his pictures owed to two additional things, which he did not learn from Howard Pyle.

In the summer of 1904, NCW had gone to Colorado to fill a commission for Scribner's and The Saturday Evening Post. While in “the West,” he had seen the light! After that, he strove to paint light into his works. Then again, in 1908, he had moved his growing family from Wilmington to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. There he was surrounded by natural color. As he was painting his illustrations for Treasure Island he was changing his palette and adding pigments that would allow him to capture the brilliant colors he saw around him.

It took NCW two more years to complete his transition from the dark shadowy city painting he learned from Pyle to bright color-filled country painting that came to define his art after he moved to Chadds Ford. Wyeth had not escaped from Pyle’s city method of painting when he painted Billy Bones. The painting succeeded, however, because the artist was standing there with him on that tower cliff, braced against the chill sea air, waiting for . . .

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