Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
Study for Girl Sick in Bed, c. 1936
Inscribed and signed "To my cousin/Mary Amy/from/Norman Rockwell" l.r.
Charcoal on paper/board, sight size 22 1/4 x 17 3/4 in. (56.5 x 45.0 cm), framed.
Condition: Toning, not examined out of frame.
Literature: Digital Collection, Norman Rockwell Museum, Norman Rockwell Definitive Catalog Number C361a.
N.B. Norman Rockwell's unparalleled success as an illustrator was due to his ability to produce images which were both nostalgic and, at the same time, an expression of future hopes and aspirations of Americans. He was extremely popular throughout his career, his work easily recognized from the numerous magazine covers, illustrations, and advertisements that he produced. Although he is perhaps best known for his cover illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post (of which there are over 300 between 1916 and 1963), Rockwell illustrated many advertisements and billboards for brands such as Plymouth, Jell-O and Orange Crush. He was also an accomplished portraitist. What seems to be most engaging about Norman Rockwell's illustrations is his ability to seize just the right moment, capturing the expressions and gestures that tell the story. This talent, combined with an affable sense of humor, set Norman Rockwell apart as a chronicler of American life.
Rockwell studied at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League in New York City. Preferring country life, in 1915 he established a studio with Clyde Forsythe in New Rochelle, New York. Rockwell was greatly influenced by the works of noted illustrators N.C. Wyeth, J.C. Leyendecker, Maxfield Parrish, and Howard Pyle.
In the 1940s, Rockwell moved to Arlington, Vermont, where he started to focus more on works on canvas. Grandma Moses was his friend and neighbor, and local townspeople became his models. Later in 1953 Rockwell moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the town most associated with the artist, where he continued his career and worked productively into his 80s. Stockbridge is also the site of the Norman Rockwell Museum, which houses the most significant public collection of the artist's works, as well as his studio and archives.
Norman Rockwell was a prodigious worker, preparing for each illustration with sketches and studies. Each commission provided him inspiration to explore new ideas and develop new approaches. The sketch at hand is a study for the painting, Girl Sick in Bed (Norman Rockwell Definitive Catalog Number C361 ) which was the cover for The Saturday Evening Post, January 23, 1937.
According to the Norma Rockwell Museum web site, the model for this piece is Connie Miller.
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