Over the course of his long and prolific career, Norman Rockwell executed over 300 cover illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post. In addition to these beloved commissions, Rockwell also produced countless illustrations and advertisements for over 150 American companies. His effective yet subtle brand of marketing made him a favorite of the advertising industry and his name was almost synonymous with new product advertisement. In 1970, The Franklin Mint, a company founded in 1964 that produced and mass marketed collectibles such as commemorative rounds and medallions, commissioned Rockwell to create a series of works.
The present work is a color study for Norman Rockwell’s most famous advertisement for The Franklin Mint, The Collector, which he painted in 1971. Famously meticulous, Rockwell utilized the color study in order to develop the palette and light patterns displayed in the final painting. To accomplish this, he typically painted directly on a photograph of a charcoal drawing. Often exhibiting a more painterly style of execution, Rockwell’s color studies allowed him to select the color combinations that would achieve an immediate and dramatic visual impact for his viewers.
Provenance: The Franklin Mint, Wawa, Pennsylvania (acquired from the artist)
The Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, has added this study to the Norman Rockwell Online Catalogue Raisonné, and can be viewed here
One of the images above is the finished version of Rockwell's 'The Collector'
Explore related art collections: Studies / Men / $100,000 & Above / Historical / Dogs & Cats / 1970s
See all original artwork by Norman Rockwell
ABOUT THE ARTIST
The pictures of Norman Perceval Rockwell (1894-1978) were recognized and enjoyed by almost everybody in America. The cover of The Saturday Evening Post was his showcase for over forty years, giving him an audience larger than that of any other artist in history. Over the years, he depicted there a unique collection of Americana, a series of vignettes of remarkable warmth and humor. In addition, he painted a great number of pictures for story illustrations, advertising campaigns, posters, calendars and books.
As his personal contribution during World War II, Rockwell painted the famous “Four Freedoms” posters, symbolizing for millions the war aims as described by President Franklin Roosevelt. One version of his “Freedom of Speech” painting is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Rockwell left high school to attend classes at the National Academy of Design, and later studied under Thomas Fogarty and George Bridgeman at the Art Students League in New York. His two greatest influences were the completely opposite titans Howard Pyle and J.C Leyendecker.
His early illustrations were done for St. Nicholas magazine and other juvenile publications. He sold his first cover painting to the Post in 1916, and ended up doing over 300 more. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson sat for him for portraits, and he painted other world figures, including Nassar of Egypt and Nehru of India.
An important museum has been established in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where he maintained his studio. Each year, tens of thousands visit the largest collection of his original paintings extant.