Howard Pyle (1853-1911)
Howard Pyle has been called the "Father of Modern Illustration" not only for the thousands of illustrations he did during his career (many for books that he had written), but also for the work he did as a teacher at his school in Wilmington. It was Pyle who taught many of the most important illustrators ever to work in this country, including N. C. Wyeth, Frank Schoonover, Harvey Dunn, and Jessie Willcox Smith. Working in either pen-and-ink or oil on canvas, Pyle composed his scenes in such a way as to maximize their emotional impact. He specialized in historical subject matter, but was equally at home illustrating pirates, revolutionary soldiers, or Arthurian knights. His theories of composition and color, and methods of bringing his readers into the action, remain as viable today as they were one hundred years ago.

Dead Men Tell No Tales 1899

Oil on canvas, 22 inches x 33 inches

"Dead Men Tell no Tales," Morgan Robertson, Collier's, December 17, 1899.

WO to Toil in the sandy Soil.
Why so many to share the spoil?
Two men less in the foc'sle mess.
Dead men tell no tales.
Earrings take for the future's sake.
Anchors break for a future stake.
Two men left with the grisly guess,
Dead men tell no tales.

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