On Sunday, January 12, 2020, the original painting and sketch for Scott Murphy’s Dryad of the Ilysian Grove were sold on the MTG Art Market auction for $6,200 and $550, respectively.

Dryad of the Ilysian Grove by Scott Murphy, oil on Masonite, 12” x 16”

Dryad of the Ilysian Grove by Scott Murphy is a work of oil on board measuring 12 inches by 16 inches, and its accompanying sketch a work of charcoal and white ink on acid-free Bristol paper measuring 11 inches by 15 inches on 14 inch by 17 inch paper. It was Murphy’s second card to be shown for Magic’s newest expansion, Theros Beyond Death, featuring in the early previews before the set’s release earlier this month.

Dryad of the Ilysian Grove (Sketch) by Scott Murphy, charcoal and white ink on acid-free Bristol paper, 11” x 15” on 14” x 17” paper

The card was originally previewed in Japanese, and as unofficial to then official translations whirred about the internet, it became quite clear that this card not only had great artwork, but it would be very good in game as well. In the weeks since the set debuted and people began playing with the new cards, Dryad of the Ilysian Grove has proven to be powerful in multiple formats.

The seven-day auction was run on the MTG Art Market by Vorthos Mike, and started shortly after the card was previewed (and even before the official name translation was available). Bidding began immediately and was near constant for 24 hours. Activity would quiet through the week, but on the final day bidding resumed. An early private bidder and one joining the contest near the end would push the painting near three times where it started at the beginning of the weekend, and the newest bidder, known only as “PM 4,” would win the day at $6,200.

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The sketch was met with equal interest, garnering nine bids from six different collectors, and pushing it to a final price of $550. This is a testament to Murphy’s superb work in the sketch phase, and a beautiful example of his should be celebrated charcoal and chalk rendering, something that’s not seen as often in Magic these days.

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I’ve previously mentioned Murphy’s ability to add vibrancy and personality to his characters, and this male dryad is no different. It’s a card that should see considerable multi-format play, and that means that there are a lot of folks that will see this painting.

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