Monday, March 30, 2015

Howard Chandler Christy Painted the Gamut

Howard Chandler Christy (1873-1952) won fame illustrating scenes from the Spanish-American War, solidified his status by creating the "Christy Girl" in his illustrations, did posters to help the U.S. effort in the Great War, painted saucy nudes to decorate bars, made portraits of famous people and spent more than two years creating a huge painting for the U.S. Capitol Building. He was a fortunate artist to have experienced great professional success in his lifetime; posthumous fame strikes me as being sad.

A brief Wikipedia entry about Christy is here, a longer illustrated link is here and a Society of Illustrators tribute to him is here.

Part of his training was under William Merritt Chase, a grounding that must have enhanced his versatility, the facility that gained him success in the variety of undertakings noted above.


Rough Riders illustration
This seems to be a scan from a book published soon after the war in Cuba ended.

The Puritan Girl - book illustration - 1911

Navy Recruiting poster - ca. 1917

Liberty Loan poster - 1917

Angel of Mercy - 1922
A wartime scene, but I'm not sure whether it was for a story or another purpose. Christy was highly skilled using water media.

Late Night Conversation - 1923
A story illustration that looks like it was done using pen and brush.

Grace Coolidge portrait - 1924
She was the wife of the U.S. President, Calvin Coolidge.

Self-portrait with model - ca. 1935
Did I mention that he liked to paint saucy nudes?

Publicity photo of Christy and model
The model standing at the left of the easel is draped a little, but the image on the canvas is draped not at all.

The Signing of the Constitution of the United States - 1940
This huge painting is in the United States' Capitol Building.

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