"Knight in Distress"   Lot no. 4752

Add to Want List

By Kurt Ard (American, 1925-)

23" x 16 7/8"
Mixed Media on Paperboard
Signed Lower Right



Click any of the images above for additional views.

Illustrated on the cover of the February 21, 1959 edition of Panorama as well as HÖRZU, 1958, cover illustration. 

A fashionable woman gazes into a mirror and fixes her hair as a young man stares at the bill in shock after a lavish meal at a restaurant.


Much like Norman Rockwell, Kurt Ard was inspired by everyday life and he often used his wife and children as models, striving to portray figures and their surroundings as accurately as possible. Ard’s strong attention to detail creates a visual delight on canvas and enhances the relatability of his narratives. These charming scenes of childhood and witty commentaries on relationships and daily life are representative of Ard’s endearing humor that defines his signature style.


Kurt Ard was born in Copenhagen in 1925 and apprenticed to a Danish painter in his youth. He sold his first magazine illustration at the age of seventeen and began his career working for small newspapers, but commissions were scarce at the time due to World War II. After the War, Ard achieved global fame for his covers produced for popular magazines throughout Europe and the United States from the 1950s through the 1970s. In Europe, Ard’s illustrations graced the covers of popular magazines, including PanoramaHÖRZUAllers, and Familie Journal. In the United States, Ard’s illustrations appeared on eight covers of The Saturday Evening Post, as well as the pages of other leading publications, including McCall’s and Reader’s Digest.


Ard had a unique challenge producing artwork for US-based publications from his studio in Copenhagen. According to The Saturday Evening Post, after the artist submitted his sketches to the magazine’s editors and art department, Ard had to wait for a response before beginning his final painting. He sometimes had to halt progress and wait for approval if he wanted to make changes mid-project. (Reference: Joseph Scales, “Beyond the Canvas: Covering Up,” The Saturday Evening Post online, published July 23, 2014.)

Explore related art collections: Food / Romance / $50,000-$100,000 / 1950s / Magazine Covers / Humor

See all original artwork by Kurt Ard