Norman Rockwell and illustration

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Norman Rockwell and illustration

From Gabriela Dellosso

Published before 2005


Hi there,

I read Brian Shapiro's post on the ARC message board concerning Norman Rockwell and Illustration and I have a couple of comments.

We all agree that Rockwell's forte was that he was an incredible picture-maker. His design, composition, lighting choices, character choices, editing abilities, aesthetic taste, and his uncanny sense of humor set him apart from his contemporaries. HOWEVER, if it were not for the fact that he were not as talented a painter as he was, his paintings would not have the same impact. For example in Rockwell's painting Bottom Drawer (The Post December 29 1956) when seen in person the still life on top of the dresser is brilliantly painted, SO SENSITIVE, I feel like I can reach into that painting and grab the pipe or brush and take it with me. That is not just picture making is it? The texture on the wall of that painting is so distinct from the texture on the carpet, great use of impasto. He might not have painted the little boy's face with the incredible subltety and form Bouguereau is known for, but it has its very own beauty and excellence.

Rockwell combined picture-making skills with incredible painting skills. Sometimes objects were painted flat without much form, this was not because he was not able to as a painter but because he wanted your eye to travel throughout the painting in a certain way. He sometimes painted a pair of shoes so convincingly that it REALLY makes you look, but HE WANTED you too.

For Mr. Saltz to say that he painted every hair of every mutt is ridiculous.

Rockwell was a FINE ARTIST with incredible picture-making and painting skills. He was unique, it is not fair to compare him to anyone else.

Gabriela D.