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Pyle, Howard

Howard Pyle, 1853–1911, American illustrator and writer, b. Wilmington, Del., studied at the Art Students League, New York City. His illustrations appeared regularly in Harper's Weekly, and in many other American magazines. He both wrote and illustrated tales of chivalry and adventure for young people, among them The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (1883), The Wonder Clock (1888), The Garden Behind the Moon (1895), and The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903). His illustrations are of marked individuality. Scenes from both medieval folklore and American history are rendered with engaging simplicity and penetrating realism. Pyle's reconstructions of the past, of which he had an exhaustive knowledge, were uniquely believable. He also painted murals and taught painting. In 1894 he became director of illustration at Drexel Institute, Philadelphia. In 1900 he started the Howard Pyle School of Art next to his own studio in Wilmington, and classes were offered free to a limited number of students. A large collection of his pictures is preserved at the Delaware Art Museum.

See biography by E. Nesbitt (1966); H. C. Pitz, The Brandywine Tradition (1969); H. C. Coyle, Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered (2011).

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