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N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945)
The Battle at Glens Falls
Each of the combatants threw all his energies into that effort, and the result was, that both tottered on the brink of the precipice
1919
Oil on canvas, 40 1/8 x 32 in. (101.9 x 81.2 cm)
Brandywine River Museum of Art
Bequest of Mrs. Russell G. Colt, 1986

NCW NUMBER
96
TITLE
The Battle at Glens Falls Each of the combatants threw all his energies into that effort, and the result was, that both tottered on the brink of the precipice
ALTERNATE TITLE(S)
The Battle at Glen Falls
MEDIUM
Oil on canvas
INSCRIPTION(S), LABEL(S)
Lower left: N. C. WYETH (underlined)
SUBJECT
illustration
DATE
1919
PROVENANCE
Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, NY (B15673); sold to Mr. Russell G. Colt, New York, NY, Jan. 1920; Mrs. Russell G. Colt to 1986
EXHIBITION HISTORY
Harrisburg, PA, 1965, no. 68; Chadds Ford, PA, 1972, no. 20; Easton, MD, Academy of the Arts, "America's Storytellers: N. C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle", Dec. 2, 1999 - Jan. 22, 2000; Kalamazoo, MI, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, "The Wyeths, America's Artists," Jan. 15-April 17, 2011;
INITIAL USE
color illustration f. p. 66, James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans / A Narrative of 1757 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1919)
REFERENCES
Anton Kamp, "N. C. Wyeth, Painter and Illustrator," The Artgum Magazine, vol. IV, no. 4 (April 1926), illus. b/w p. 17; _____,"The Stouthearted Heroes of a Beloved Painter," Life Magazine, vol. 43, no. 24 (December 9, 1957), illus. in color p. 100; Henry C. Pitz, "N. C. Wyeth," American Heritage Magazine, vol. XVI, no. 6 (Oct. 1965), p. 43; Douglas Allen and Douglas Allen, Jr., N. C. Wyeth, The Collected Paintings, Illustrations and Murals (New York: Crown Publishers, 1972), p. 202, illus. p. 98; Walt and Roger Reed, The Illustrator in America, 1880-1980 (New York: Madison Square Press, Inc., 1984), illus. in color p. 78; Brandywine River Museum, Catalogue of the Collection, 1969-1989 (Chadds Ford, PA: Brandywine Conservancy, 1991), p. 210, illus. b/w p. 202; David Michaelis, N. C. Wyeth A Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), illus. in color after p. 244; Erin R. Corrales-Diaz, "The Indian In His Solitude, N. C. Wyeth's Images of Native Americans," Nineteenth Century, Magazine of the Victorian Society in America, vol. 28, no. 2 (Fall 2008), p. 12, as "The Battle at Glen Falls"; Christine B. Podmaniczky, N. C. Wyeth, A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings (London: Scala, 2008), I.750, p. 382
CURATORIAL COMMENT
In preparation for this commission, the artist read and marked an edition published by A. L. Burt (Brandywine River Museum, NCWS.95.4334). In a letter to his wife dated 2/22/1919, Wyeth described a visit he made to the exact spot described by Cooper: "It was indeed thrilling to follow Cooper's detailed topography...to stand on the very dome of rock where Major Heyward fought the hand to hand battle with knives with the Huron warrior. As I looked into the boiling water below I could almost imagine the tossing figure of the blood covered Indian who had plunged off the crag (sic) with Heyward's knife sheathed in his heart" (Wyeth Family Archives). In addition to photographs Wyeth took of the locale, he also may have used stereoption cards as image resources--6 cards depicting scenery in Glens Falls were found in his studio, including one of the "water galleries near Dual Gorge."
IMAGE SOURCE
transparency directly from painting