Norman Rockwell an artist that inspires!

Norman Rockwell an artist that inspires!
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The new generation is rediscovering the idols and famous people of the past generation in a new way. The wave of interest and style of the 60s returns the interest to many prominent cultural figures, including the famous artist Norman Rockwell.

According to Wikipedia, the famous Director George Lucas collects paintings by Norman Rockwell. Lucas recalls that as a child, he was looking forward to a new issue of the Saturday Evening Post, because at that age he fantasized and made up his stories, looking at Rockwell's illustrations. Lucas believes that Rockwell's paintings have a positive impact on the minds of young viewers. They expand the boundaries of the existing universe and, taking a pencil or marker, everyone can create their own world. Therefore, it is necessary as often as possible to discuss stories from the world created by artists with children. And this is not hollow words or lip service on the part of G. Lucas. The director donated $ 500,000 to the Rockwell Museum to create educational programs.

"When you look at Rockwell's paintings, you immediately realize that you see something of your own, it touches you and is very important for the birth of inspiration. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, it's something that unites us all", says George Lucas.

Norman Rockwell passed away in 1978. Until the end of his life, the artist remained full of creative forces, his humor never ran out, he was acutely interested in everything that surrounded him as if he were a youngster.

“The secret of many long-lived artists is that each painting is a new adventure for them. So, you see, they are always looking forward to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back", said Norman Rockwell.

Steven Spielberg is another passionate fan of Norman's works, and his collection contains quite a few paintings. Spielberg and Lucas decided to organize an exhibition in 2010 dedicated to the artist's work.

This artist left a huge number of works, about four thousand drawings and paintings. These paintings depict scenes from everyday life of ordinary people. Norman Rockwell belonged to the realistic artists. In his works he, very accurately and scrupulously depicted reality with his artistic talent. Each detail in the image has a certain meaning. When you look at the characters, you understand how much sympathy and love the artist sends to his characters.

Norman was born on February 3, 1894 in New York City. His father was a Manager in a textile company, and his mother was an ordinary housewife. Norman was the second child in the family, and had an older brother, Jarvis. As a child, Norman drew a lot, loved to come up with stories for his pictures. By the age of 14, the boy left school and entered the New York school of art. At the age of 15, the young man was quite famous and drew Christmas cards to order. By the age of 17, having entered the Academy of design and art, he began his long creative path. Rockwell studied successfully and quickly mastered all the techniques in illustration. After dropping out from the Academy, he collaborated with youth magazines and drew illustrations for a living. At the age of 19, Norman was the editor-in-chief and artist of the popular boy scouts magazine the "Boy's Life", and in 1916, he opened his own studio in La Rochelle, in the suburbs of New York.

At the age of 22, he created his first magazine cover for the Saturday Evening Post. The artist drew about 320 covers for this magazine. The collaboration with the editorial Board lasted five decades. Readers of the Saturday Evening Post admired Rockwell's talent. He managed to entwine the most ordinary moments of life into the romantic precepts of American life, despite the fact that the country was going through a difficult period of the Great Depression.

Let's look at some of his paintings.

"Losers". In the foreground three sit young girls who cannot leave the hall after the game. The artist conveys feelings subtly and reliably, each heroine has her own bouquet of emotions on her face. This makes the audience smile and sympathize with the fans.

The artist drew not only such pretty scenes. He was interested in the life around him, and he expressed his civic position quite boldly. He was not afraid to show the problems of his country, which he was deeply concerned about.

In 1943, Norman, inspired by the famous speech of President Roosevelt, wrote a series of paintings dedicated to freedom. It includes "Freedom of Worship", "Freedom of Speech", "Freedom from Want", "Freedom from Fear".

In the "Freedom of Worship", the author says that everyone has the right to practice the faith to which they are inclined. In front of us is a group of people depicted in profile, each of them in a prayer pose. We understand that these are believers of different faiths offering their prayers to God, and this unites them, not separates them.

In the "Freedom of Speech", he shows that everyone has the right to speak freely, and they will not be deprived of their freedom. The canvas shows a man who decided to speak out and got up from his seat. There is a rolled-up pamphlet in his jacket pocket, his hand rests on the railing, and his mouth is open when he gives his opinion.

Meanwhile, "Freedom from Want" is an iconic image of America. The family has come together for Thanksgiving, everyone is sitting around the table, everyone is talking animatedly and joking. An elderly woman and her husband are putting a huge turkey on the table to start distributing treats. The picture is painted in very bright light, it seems that the characters glow with happiness.

The picture "Freedom from Fear" touches any person to the core. The plot is quite deep - Fear for the future of their children. Every parent can relate to that. What is necessary for happiness? You can see the image of sleeping children with their parents next to them. The woman gently adjusts the blanket and the father looks thoughtfully at his sons.

These works were part of the artist’s exhibition "Four Freedoms", which traveled all over America and collected 132 million dollars. All proceeds from the exhibition Rockwell gave to the needs of American soldiers who fought at the front.

After the Second World War, Rockwell continued to work. One of the paintings was on a burning civil topic - "table prayer" - won the American public. In this picture, the artist was able to convey the changes in society. A grandmother and a grandson are sitting in front of us, praying before their meal, and two guys, neighbors at the table, are looking at them curiously.

It was the Table prayer that was sold at an auction in 2013 for $ 46 million, earning the title of the most expensive work of American realistic art.

Norman was married three times. The marriage was short-lived with his first wife; with his second wife, Mary Barstow, they lived longer and had three sons. But Mary suffered from severe depressions. The family had to move to Stockbridge because of her illness, where she was treated in a psychiatric hospital for the rest of her life. This was a difficult test for the artist. After the death of his wife, Rockwell was broken and confused. Trying to find a way out of this situation, the artist decided to write his memoirs. For the cover, he created a picture of himself at work. Two years later, Norman married Molly Penderson. His new wife was a former teacher, but had already retired at the time. Often neighbors saw the couple riding bicycles together.

The painting "the Problem we all live with", created in 1964, marked a transition in the artist's life. (Rockwell finishes working with the Saturday Evening Post and begins collaborating with the Look magazine, where he shows his opinion on public issues through his canvases.)

This picture shows a real little girl, Ruby Bridges, who went to a white public school in New Orleans in 1960. A schoolgirl goes to school, and around her are adult men who accompany the girl for security reasons. This picture caused a huge resonance in society.

At that time, the Southern United States was racially segregated. Racial segregation in the United States-the separation of the white population of the United States from other ethnic groups (mainly blacks and Indians). It was visible across various social barriers: separate education and upbringing, differentiation of seating areas - white people sit in front in public transport, and so on.

Rockwell was a great master who drew his paintings as a director. He first came up with a story in his head. When the topic was clearly visible — he began to look for models. Mostly his relatives and friends posed for him. The artist carefully selected clothes and furnishings. Since the 1930s, Norman had employed a photographer who took pictures of sitters, models and different sets. Sometimes up to a hundred images were used for a single canvas.

If you love Rockwell's illustrations, please leave your comments below the article!

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