There Was Instant Silence

Howard Pyle (1853–1911)

1896 and 1897 respectively

Oil on canvas

Sewell C. Biggs bequest; 2004.480–.481

Howard Pyle was a Wilmington, Delaware, illustrator, author, and art instructor who painted this picture to illustrate a story called “Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker” by S. Weir Mitchell; the story appeared in the January 1897 edition of Century Magazine. In these scenes, the story’s protagonist, Hugh Wynne, is starting a bar room brawl. Although the artist created many memorable, Colonial-period illustrations, he was probably best known for his depictions of pirates and medieval Europe.