Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Professor in His Boat, 1893

Look out, Thomas Eakins! Howard Pyle’s “The Professor in His Boat” - an 8 x 12" black and white oil painted in 1893 and printed (at a mere 2.9 x 4.5") in The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table by Oliver Wendell Holmes (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Riverside Press, 1894). Amazing in so many ways - and needlessly neglected.
I dare not publicly name the rare joys, the infinite delights, that intoxicate me on some sweet June morning, when the river and bay are smooth as a sheet of beryl-green silk, and I run along ripping it up with my knife-edged shell of a boat, the rent closing after me like those wounds of angels which Milton tells of, but the seam still shining for many a long rood behind me. To lie still over the Flats, where the waters are shallow, and see the crabs crawling and the sculpins gliding busily and silently beneath the boat...


3 comments:

soobeedoo said...

Yes, Eakins was great. There are so many illustrators who have been ignored over the years, though. When you think of the added demands that structure of work on demand can put on an artist as opposed to working on a piece "until it's done" (both of which I've done)... Well, the illustrator gets the short end of the stick, in my opinion.

RockManagementUSA said...

I own this painting. It's wonderful.
Thanks for your posting!

Ian Schoenherr said...

You're very lucky - it’s really one of my favorites.