"The Boy, Moses"   Lot no. 4396

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By N.C. Wyeth 1882-1945

43" x 32"
Oil on Canvas
Signed Lower Right



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The present work was reproduced as an illustration for Bruce Barton's story "The Boy Who Established a Nation," published in the February 1929 issue of Good Housekeeping. Part of an educational series titled "Children of the Bible," the present work illustrates the story of Moses in Egypt and depicts the moment when, "The boy, Moses, clad in princely garments, witnessed the bitter suffering of his people at the hands of the Egyptian taskmasters. As he grew in years he became increasingly conscious of his kinship with the oppressed and exploited workers." (B. Barton, "Children of the Bible, Part II, The Boy Who Established a Nation," Good Housekeeping, vol. 88, no. 2, February 1929, p. 51)


Wyeth was a committee member of the 32nd Annual Delaware Show of the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts and donated the present painting as the prize for the local high school's related essay contest titled "The Picture I Like Best in the Exhibition, and Why I Like It." The contest winner was awarded the painting shortly after the artist's untimely death. (Image of the essay can be seen, 4th picture)


The artist.
Gift to the late owner from the above, 1946.



B. Barton, "Children of the Bible, Part II, The Boy Who Established a Nation," Good Housekeeping, vol. 88, no. 2, February 1929, p. 51, illustrated.
D. O'Brian, "A Prize Worth Winning," Sunday Morning Star, July 29, 1945, p. 10.
"Delaware Show Essay Contest," exhibition brochure, Wilmington, Delaware, 1945.
"Prize for Essay Contest," unidentified newspaper, Wilmington, Delaware, circa November 10, 1945, illustrated.
"Girl, 14, Wins Essay Contest," unidentified newspaper, Wilmington, Delaware, January 11, 1946.
Brandywine River Museum, Newell Convers Wyeth Collection, scrapbook E.
D. Allen, D. Allen, Jr., N.C. Wyeth: The Collected Paintings, Illustrations and Murals, New York, 1972, p. 258.
C.B. Podmaniczky, J.H. Stoner, N.C. Wyeth: Catalogue Raisonne of Paintings, vol. II, London, 2008, p. 506, no. I.1074, illustrated.



Wilmington, Delaware, Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts, Exhibition of Paintings by N.C. Wyeth, February 28-March 14, 1930, no. 39 (as Moses in Egypt).

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See all original artwork by N.C. Wyeth


Newell Convers Wyeth had a huge zest for life. He carried his enthusiasm through a great number of paintings, more than 3000 illustrations, numerous vast murals, and many still-life and landscape paintings.

Howard Pyle was his teacher and idol. At first, Wyeth emulated Pyle's approach as nearly as possible, painting much of the same kind of subject matter - medieval life, pirates, Americana. To this he added his own dramatic picture concepts and rich, decorative color. Outstanding in this phase of his work were the more than twenty-five books he illustrated for Charles Scribner's Son's Classics series. The popularity of these books is such that, even after decades, many of them are still in print.

He came to resent the constraints of illustration, and after painting in oils for many years, Wyeth turned to the egg tempera medium and began to paint more for exhibitions. He also encouraged an interest in the arts in his children, giving them every opportunity for self-expression. His daughters, Henriette and Caroline, were both accomplished painters; Ann, a composer; and his son, Andrew, is famous as a painter. His grandson, Jamie, is also an excellent painter.

At the time of his tragic death in a railway crossing accident, N.C Wyeth was one of America's best loved illustrators. 

The October, 1965, issue of American Heritage contains an article by Henry C. Pitz about the career of Wyeth and his family, and a biography by David Michaelis was published in 1998.