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'