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Robin Hood ~ Vintage Children’s Book Illustration by Howard Pyle May 31st, 2011

Here’s a few of my scans from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, a beautiful vintage children’s book written & illustrated by Howard Pyle (1853-1911) from 1883. The other week, I luckily found this book collection at the Aberfolyle Flea Market so look out for more book scans coming up in the following weeks!

The attention to detail is remarkable in these illustrations. Nice to see the strength in basic black and white line work. This skill does not need to rely on colour. For more information about Pyle check out this very in-depth blog from another illustrator, Ian Schoenherr. In addition, here’s some Pyle biographical information from Illustration House.

As a teacher, Pyle attracted a large number of students, inspiring them as much by his idealism as by the high standards he set for picture making. Over the years he taught at Drexel Institute in Philadelphia, lectured at the Art Students League in New York, and eventually conducted special classes for gifted students at both Wilmington, Delaware and, during the summer at Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania. He made no charge for his teaching and, in fact, built a set of studios for the students to work in. N. C. Wyeth, Harvey Dunn, Stanley Arthurs, and Frank Schoonover were among the beneficiaries of this instruction, and passed along to others Pyle’s unique approach as they, in turn, became illustrators and teachers. At the time when it was customary and fashionable to study in Europe, Pyle had a strong conviction that students should seek their training and inspiration in America. Many of Pyle’s greatest pictures came from his intense and loyal interest in Americana. His renditions of the Revolutionary War period and of Civil War subjects have since become standard pictures in our history books, among them Woodrow Wilson’s History of the American People, and James Truslow Adams’ History of the United States. - Walt Reed

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