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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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."
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!


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.

Deann 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.