"The Courtship of Miles Standish"   Lot no. 3053

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By Howard Chandler Christy (American- 1873-1952)

1902 (Estimated)
34.50" x 26.50"
Pencil and Wash on Paperboard
Signed and Dated 'Howard Chandler Christy 1902' (lower left)



Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's narrative poem The Courtship of Miles Standish originally published in 1858 tells the story of the love triangle between John Alden, Miles Standish and Priscilla Mullins during the early days of the Plymouth Colony. Longfellow was a descendant of John Alden. The present work illustrates the scene in the poem where John admires Priscilla spinning:

“Truly, Priscilla,” he said, “when I see you spinning and spinning, 
Never idle a moment, but thrifty and thoughtful of others, 
Suddenly you are transformed, are visibly changed in a moment; 
You are no longer Priscilla, but Bertha the Beautiful Spinner.”
(H.W. Longfellow, The Courtship of Miles Standish, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1902, p. 134)
Please note this work is sold and shipped framed



H.W. Longfellow, The Courtship of Miles Standish, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1902, p. 134, illustrated.

Explore related art collections: Books / Black & White / Romance / $5,000 - $20,000 / 1900s

See all original artwork by Howard Chandler Christy


            Howard Chandler Christy had a long, colorful and varied career. He made his early reputation when he accompanied the United States troops to Cuba during the Spanish-American War, and articles illustrated by his drawings were published by Scribner's and Leslie's Weekly. One picture for Scribner's, the "Soldier's Dream" [of his girl] became famous, and from then on, he specialized in drawing and painting beautiful "Christy Girls" for McClure's and other magazines.

            Christy's painting techniques was sumptuous, and he was in great demand as a portraitist. Among the notables he painted were President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, Amelia Earhart, Lawrence Tibbett, Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, and Benito Mussolini.


            Christy was also a popular teacher and at various times instructed at Cooper Union, the Chase School, New York School of Art and the Art Students League.


            In Later Years, he painted several murals, including his well-known decorative nudes for the Café des artistes in New York City. His most famous mural is a 20- by 30- foot canvas, "The Signing of the Constitution," which hangs in the rotunda of the capitol in Washington, D.C. He was elected to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1980.