Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Village in the Catskills


The fascinating story of Rip Van Winkle was written by Washington Irving. My copy of this wonderful book was printed by David McKay Company in 1921.
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The illustration above was done by a wonderful artist by the name of N. C. Wyeth. I am enamored of his artwork. His work is lovely. The rhythm and composition of each piece, along with the artist's striking use of composition colors, create a sense of mystery and magic.
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Rip Van Winkle is indeed a magical tale, filled with humor and suspense. The forward page of this fascinating story is entitled, "A Posthumous Writing of Diedrich Knickerbocker."
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The tale is set in the United States in the Catskill Mountains. Rip Van Winkle is described as a simple good-natured man, a good neighbor, and an "obedient henpecked husband." (Grin) Rip Van Winkle would often disappear for hours with his fishing pole, or "fowling piece" hunting squirrels and wild pigeons.
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He was a helpful neighbor who often did odd jobs for his neighbors. However, in doing so, he neglected his own farm. Hence his wife was not a happy camper. "Morning, noon and night her tongue was incessantly going and everything he said or did was sure to produce a torrent of household eloquence."
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Rip Van Winkle's only response was to shrug. (Grin) And as the years rolled by, our hero discovered "a tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use."
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As I post each of N. C. Wyeth's extraordinary illustrations, I'll describe that part of the story, until it is done. This is the first installment! Enjoy!

3 comments:

Lois said...

What a lovely illustration! I didn't realize that was lightening up there over the mountains until I enlarged it. Can't wait for the next installment!

Clytie said...

Beautiful artwork! Wonderful book! Can't wait to read more.

Grannie Annie said...

Ooh I just love these beautiful old color illustrations the colors alway seem slightly smokey to me and I don't know, they are just gentler then what is published now. Thanks for sharing.