18 May 2004
Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945)
Carvers of the Sphinx
signed 'N.C. Wyeth' (lower right)-- inscribed '© G.E. CO.' (lower left)
oil on canvas laid down on board
36¼ x 23¼ in. (92.1 x 59.1 cm.)
Painted in 1926.
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B.J. Wyeth, ed., The Wyeths: The Letters of N.C. Wyeth, 1901-1945, Boston, Massachusetts, 1971, p. 727.
D. Allen and D. Allen, Jr., N.C. Wyeth: The Collected Paintings, Illustrations and Murals, New York, 1972, pp. 147, 152, illustrated.
The present work was used as an illustration for the 1935 General Electric Lamp Division calendar. In a letter dated September 17, 1926, N.C. Wyeth wrote to his father: "I have just put the finishing touches upon a piece of work for the Forbes Company (a calendar to be used by the Edison Mazda Company). It is an elaborate piece of work and has taken a solid month to do. It will be called 'The Carvers of the Sphinx'--a night scene: torchlight revealing King Chedren and his spouse seated in their golden double-chair, supported on the shoulders of 8 eunuchs, watching the carvers at work on the huge stone face. It is very closely done and is exceedingly dramatic. The border and other design around the picture is very elaborate and all Egyptian in motive. I have an idea that the picture will make quite a hit." (as quoted in B.J. Wyeth, The Wyeths: The Letters of N.C. Wyeth, 1901-1945, Boston, Massachusetts, 1971, p. 727)
This painting is included in the N.C. Wyeth catalogue raisonné database that is being compiled by the Brandywine River Museum and Conservancy, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.
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