Description: Civil War veterans and memorial wreath
Provenance: Given by Leyendecker to Mark Sullivan. Sullivan was an editor at Collier's from 1913-1919 and was one of the most-respected journalists of his day. At the time, Sullivan was a household name. He's probably best-remembered as the author of Our Times: 1900-1925 which chronicled the social and political changes of the era.
Comment: Illustrators, like most people, have their ups and downs. It's hard to think of an American illustrator with a more pronounced deviation between the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows than Francis X. Leyendecker. It can't possibly have been anything approaching easy to be the younger brother of J.C. Leyendecker, arguably the most famous illustrator of his day. Yet, most days, or rather the results that we can judge all these decades later, fit into neither the high points nor the low points. Such is the case here… not the single greatest picture FXL did, but, I'll argue well up in the top half… probably the top quarter… easily. Other interesting points are that this dates from a period where Collier's was experimenting with more consistent use of color on its covers and the published cover shows that they added a reddish tine to the whole thing… something that I don't particular think “worked.” The two soldiers look enough like that I assume that was FXL's intention…
Price: $13,500 (+ $125 domestic shipping)