N. C. Wyeth A Biography (Paperback)
|Author: David Michaelis|
|N. C. Wyeth's illustrations for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Last of the Mohicans, The Yearling, and many other books are etched into the collective memory of generations of readers. He was hailed as the greatest American illustrator of his day. Yet he judged himself a failure, believing that illustration was of no importance. Despite the darkness of his temperament, he was a towering figure of gargantuan appetites and physical power.|
David Michaelis's biography tells the story of Wyeth's family through four generations. It is a family saga that begins and ends with the accidental deaths of small boys; a gothic tale that shows how N.C. endangered himself and his children by concealing part of the family legacy -- depression, suicide, incest. The artist himself is brought alive in this fully realized portrait of this huge-spirited, deeply complicated man, his family, and an America that was quickly vanishing.
From the Publisher:
His name summons up our earliest images of the beloved books we read as children. His illustrations for Scribner's Illustrated Classics (Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Last of the Mohicans, The Yearling) are etched into the collective memory of generations of readers. He was hailed as the greatest American illustrator of his day. For forty-three years, starting in 1902, N.C. Wyeth painted landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and murals, as well as illustrations for a long shelf of world literature. Yet despite worldwide acclaim, he judged himself a failure, believing that illustration was of no importance.
David Michaelis tells the story of Wyeth's family through four generations -- a saga that begins and ends with tragedy -- and brings to life the huge-spirited, deeply complicated man, and an America that was quickly vanishing.
Newell Convers Wyeth was the grandfather of an American artistic dynasty that included his son Andrew and his grandson Jamie. Though Wyeth aspired to become an accomplished painter, he is remembered for his now-classic book illustrations. A "New York Times" Notable Book for 1998.
"As his biographer, David Michaelis confronts a real dilemma: a life story so odd, in its way, and so fundamentally mysterious...that the art for which Wyeth was once known could easily seem irrelevant. That it does not is a tribute to Michaelis's ability to relate the strong emotional content and grandiose fictions of Wyeth's best work to his memories, his family, and his day-to-day experience....Michaelis never lets the reader lose sight of Wyeth's profession as a masterful picture-maker." - Karal A. Marling 10/11/1998 New York Times
"...a full-scale, many-voiced, deeply researched study--somewhat over produced, one might think, for a figure whose best-known accomplishments are illustrating 'Robin Hood' and fathering Andrew. Yet the author's confidence in his subject in the end seems fairly won: N. C.'s accomplishments turn out to be larger than one might have imagined--he is the Wyeth who counts--and his life is larger than his accomplishments." - Adam Gopnik 11/15/1998