This is an absolutely exquisite pastel in the pre-Raphaelite style which depicts a climactic scene from “The Geste of Duke Joceyln.” Originally used as the frontispiece for the light verse novel by popular English author Jeffrey Farnol, the scene features the fetching Duchess Yolande being presented at court after winning the heart of Duke Jocelyn.
This is a shining example of Eric Pape’s whimsical yet classic style of illustrating, and features remarkable use of color and detailing. Pape was a well-regarded and often-exhibited artist from the turn of the 20th century until his death in 1938. After opening his own illustration school in 1898, he taught N.C. Wyeth, whose style is influenced by Pape’s own.
Pape is best remembered as a prolific illustrator of childrens’ books and historical fantasies, as well as a artistic contributor to Scribners, Cosmopolitan, and Century magazine. His original art is highly coveted and recently his pastel work has fetched $45,000.00 at Christie’s. This epic pastel is one of the nicest examples of Pape’s work I have come across.
Included with the original painting is a copy of the 1920 “Geste of Duke Jocelyn” by Jeffrey Farnol, published by Little, Brown, & Company.
More on Jeffrey Farnol’s “Geste of Duke Jocelyn”
In the fall of 1920 one of Farnol’s literary tours de force, “The Geste of Duke Jocelyn,” was published, a whimsy, if the word may be used, rather than a novel. Written for his daughter Gillian, it describes the adventures of Duke Jocelyn, disguised as a jester a court fool, so as to win truly the love of the beauteous Yolande – describes them with a mixture of verse and song and prose, with interruptions from “Gill” and disputations with her as to what he should next cause to happen to the men and women of his imagination!
Jeffrey Farnol is best remembered as a popular and talented author of romantic fiction and for his works “The Broad Highway” and “Peregrine’s Progress.”