Howard Pyle grew up in a family of Wilmington, Delaware, Quakers who later embraced the Swedenborgian faith without total acceptance of all its principles. However, there is much to be seen in Pyle's work of angels and supernatural images. The following illustrations are offered as examples of his fascination with otherworldly subjects.
Click on the image below for an enlarged view of this heralding angel.
Click on any of the three images above for enlarged views.
I have no idea what this illustration is all about and include it because I find it to be so typical for the period. It also begs the question, why is the crescent moon so distracting, being as it is so close to the heroine's head? (Perhaps it was mentioned in the story it illustrates.) It also seems to cross the line into gallery painting, with Pyle having a foot in each camp.
Even in this illustration of an Edith Wharton poem, Pyle seems to morph his spiritual style with that of the Italian religious painters of the Renaissance. You know by now that I'm not an academic or art historian so I can only offer the opinions of an illustrator, and from that perspective I can assure you that it is a remarkable drawing for a magazine illustration of 1901. Click on either image to enlarge.
Next: a Holiday Interlude.