Saturday Evening Post Cover, September 18, 1920
Leyendecker addressed the theme of American patriotism in several ways. His famous Fourth of July covers asserted the import of American independence through stock characters: George Washington, Uncle Sam, the Statue of Liberty, colonial Freedom Fighters, and modern-day soldiers. In addition, his World War I and World War II covers depicted soldiers proudly defending their country. Leyendecker also profiled U.S. presidents and historical figures - George Washington, Robert E. Lee, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson -- who embodied dedicated leadership on behalf of the country.
Another of Leyendecker's popular patriotic types was the political candidate. His November 4, 1916 cover, for example, shows a candidate in a bowler hat delivering a stump speech, wildly gesticulating with his outstretched arm and raised fist. This particular 1920 cover, The Candidate, captures a politician wearing a flag sash and appealing to his audience in a different fashion, with a concerned, empathetic expression and his hand placed over his heart in a gesture of honor. The frontal stance of the candidate, as well as his top hat, tailored suit, and gold watch fob, also resembles that of the upper-class industrialist on Leyendecker's October 5, 1907 cover, Getting Rich Quick.
See all original artwork by Joseph Christian Leyendecker
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