N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945)So the maiden went on, and little divined or imagined what was at work in his heart, that made him so awkward and speechless.1920Oil on canvas, 28 x 30 in. (71.1 x 76.1 cm)David and Mary Wolff
So the maiden went on, and little divined or imagined what was at work in his heart, that made him so awkward and speechless.
John Alden and Priscilla
Oil on canvas
Lower right.: N. C. WYETH; lower left: N. C. WYETH
Hotel Roosevelt (United Hotels Company of America), New York, NY, by 1924 - ca. 1955; Mrs. Frederick Munroe Card, to 1964; Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Wallace W. Lee, Jr., 1956 - 1994; (Vose Galleries, Boston, MA, 1994)
Wilmington, DE, 1921, no. 78, as "John Alden and Priscilla"; Philadelphia, PA, 1921, as "John Alden and Priscilla"
Color illustration f. p. 98, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Courtship of Miles Standish (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1920)
W. L. Cook, "Traces Its Line to the Revolution," The National Hotel Review, Hotel Roosevelt Section (New York: Gehring Publishing Co., Oct. 25, 1924), p. 52; Anton Kamp, "N. C. Wyeth, Painter and Illustrator," The Artgum, vol. IV, no. 4 (April 1926), illustration in b/w p. 6; advertisement for Libbey Safedge Glass, showing painting in situ in dining room of Hotel Roosevelt,Time Magazine, vol. XLIII, no. 22 (May 29, 1944), p. 57; Douglas Allen and Douglas Allen, Jr., N. C. Wyeth, The Collected Paintings, Illustrations and Murals (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1972), p. 211; Christine B. Podmaniczky, N. C. Wyeth, A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings (London: Scala, 2008), I.803, p. 400
"..."The Heart of the Puritan" compiled by Miss Hanscom of Smith College is a valuable collection of letters and journals which will add greatly to my mental background in working up the Miles Standish pictures." (NCW to "Babe," Jan. 14, 1920, WFA)
The size of this painting has been altered several times. All the illustrations in The Courtship of Miles Standish were in a vertical format, this image in the ratio of height to width as 1.33 to 1. Archival photographs of the painting in place over the mantlepiece in the dining room of the Hotel Roosevelt show it as almost square, made so by the addition of panels of about 7" in width ahered to each side [National Hotel Review, Hotel Roosevelt Section, Oct. 25, 1924 (New York: Gehring Publishing Company), Brandywine River Museum, NCWS.95. 819)]. Later, when the painting was removed from the hotel, it must have been cut again to its present height with only several inches of sky above the horizon line. The side panels were removed by a conservator in 1972.
The alternate title of "John Alden and Priscilla" is based on the Philadelphia, PA, 1921 exhibition record, in which the only other painting that might have carried this title, "Why don't you speak for yourself, John?" occurs as a different number.
In his introduction to the edition, the poet's son (and painter) Ernest W. Longfellow wrote, "Mr. Wyeth's illustrations seem to me--and I doubt not that they would have seemed to my father--admirable all through in their richness of color and their unconventional treatment, coupled with their many evidences of the closest study of the period."
1. photography directly from painting; 2. painting in situ in dining room of Hotel Roosevelt,, 1944
1. web: Photograph courtesy of Vose Gallery, Boston, MA; hardcover: Jeffrey Allen Photography, Nantucket, MA. 2. Advertisement for Libbey Safedge Glass, Time Magazine, vol. XLIII, no. 22 (May 29, 1944), p. 57