Monday, August 31, 2009

The genius of Norman Rockwell

Painting is not my thing. But yesterday, at the museum dedicated to the famous American painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), I was stunned. Stunned by Rockwell's eye for detail; his ability to deliver an incredible array of expressions, many of them comic; and the stories that Rockwell conveys in his illustrations. Two examples -- my favorites -- are below. Both appeared as covers for the Saturday Evening Post. The theme of the first (March 16th 1948 issue) is gossip . Look closely at it and you’ll know what I mean by "incredible array of expressions". Not to mention the details – hairstyles, hats, skin tones, gloves – and the funny story that unfolds.

The second (August 30th 1947 issue) is about a family going to and returning from a picnic (click to see a much better version). Look how expectant and eager everyone is while leaving. And how everyone fatigued everyone is while returning late in the evening. What a contrast!

But then there's Granny in the backseat, with a stoic, humorless expression that does not change one bit.

1 comment:

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