"Mural Study for "The First Settlement on Manhattan Island""   Lot no. 3990

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By Howard Pyle (American- 1853 - 1911)

1910 (Estimated)
16.375" x 71.50"
Oil on Canvas



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This is a study for the very large Howard Pyle mural now in the historic County Courthouse in Hudson County, New Jersey. It was commissioned from Pyle by the building's architect in 1910. This is a study for one of only three murals which Pyle ever painted. It was finished just a few months before his untimely death. 

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Howard Pyle has long been considered ‘The Father of American Illustration’. In the 1890’s, Pyle was well established as an illustrator and turned his mind to teaching others. In 1894 he published 99 illustrations bringing in substantial fees while teaching at the school of his creation for free. Pyle’s school for illustration in Wilmington allowed the city to become the center of the illustration in the late 19th century. Many of his students became extraordinarily well talented and well-known illustrators. He began illustrating for magazines such as Century Magazine, Harpers weekly, cosmopolitaon, and Ladies home journal. Each Illustration was received enthusiastically be the magazine art editors and their readership causing him to be in demand from the very beginning of his career. He was a master of all art forms of media from pen and ink to watercolors, oils pencil and charcoal.

He had the goal that while teaching he would train a generation to visually define his nation for itself through illustration. He could capture the feeling from any time in history and turn historic figures into flesh and blood and was considered the best illustrator in his day. He was born during the most propitious time for an illustrator of his magnitude. During his career, Howard Pyle produced illustrations for nearly three-thousand five hundred publications, and about half of those images illustrated books and articles he authored – two hundred magazine articles and nineteen books.