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6 November, 2019

THANKSGIVING -Norman Rockwell

Filed under: Y oral Term L — csa1 @ 8:15

The artist

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) found success in illustration early, while still a teenager, and enjoyed it until he died. In his prime, he was sought after as an illustrator and worked for many periodicals, but his association with the Saturday Evening Post was the most famous and enduring. In 1916 when he was 22, he was commissioned for his first Postcover and during almost 50 years created several hundred more.

Rockwell specialized in collective innocence, distilling beliefs about American virtue and its roots in small-town values into narratives that celebrated “ordinary” people and their fundamental goodness.

He was a meticulous and technically brilliant draftsman and painter and spent several amounts of time on the paintings that would be printed as magazine cover illustrations. For example, though he did about 320 covers for the Post, which was then a weekly, when they are spread over more than four decades, the output is small. Still, he was prolific, producing more than 4,000 original works both for periodicals and corporate advertising. Most of the surviving ones are in public collections.

He was paid well but was never wealthy until later in life, when he began selling print editions of his paintings. As was the custom with illustrators, he kept the original paintings. He rarely sold them, but occasionally gave them away. His charitable work included an original painting for the annual Boy Scout calendar.

FREEDOM FROM WANT (1942)

l’Abri du besoin (titre original : Freedom from Want), également connu sous les noms du Tableau de Thanksgiving ou de Je serai à la maison pour Noël (The Thanksgiving Picture ou I’ll Be Home for Christmas).

Freedom from Want is considered one of Rockwell’s finest works.

The scene takes place in a family house on Thanksgiving Day, the whole family is gathered round the table. The grandmother, who is wearing a white apron, is proud to bring the turkey which the grandfather is going to carve. Everybody looks very happy, they are looking at each other and they are chatting . The table extends past the bottom of the canvas, giving the perception that the viewer is actually at the table. The gentleman in the lower right corner of the painting is smiling at the viewer and seems to be inviting us to join in the feast.

There is a contrast between the white light coming from the window behind the couple , the white cloth and china and the enormous golden turkey which is the point of focus . The colour of the fruit in the foreground echoes the colour of the turkey. The whole room seems to be flooded with light, illuminating the joyful faces.

This is a war-time painting, a period of suffering .The title is a reminder of a speech by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in which he proposed the ideal of a world founded on four essential human freedoms : freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear. The painter illustrated freedom from want by showing a family having a traditional celebration , an image of warmth, peace and plenty.

Norman Rockwell once said, “I paint life as I would like it to be.” And no other Rockwell painting better embodies that aspiration than Freedom From Want, one of his most beloved works and the most famous representation of America’s quintessential national holiday, Thanksgiving, painted in 1942.

This Thanksgiving, on Thursday, comes about two weeks after an election day and gives a visual definition of an ideal American family. Thanksgiving takes place on the fourth Thursday in November.

In January 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt  delivered his State of the Union address in which he outlined his idea of the Four Freedoms, which included freedom of speech, of worship, from fear, and from want.

The Saturday Evening post which published every week an illustration by N. Rockwell released the Four Freedoms two years later with an essay on each.

To depict Freedom from Fear, Rockwell painted a mother and father tucking their children into bed to sleep the sleep of the blissfully innocent. For Freedom of Worship, Rockwell collected together a wide array of faces each with hands clasped in prayer—a fascinating image of spiritual solidarity at a time when Jews were being annihilated across Europe for their faith. In Freedom of speechRockwell painted a single brave soul standing up at a meeting to speak his mind and bare his soul. When it came time to symbolize Freedom from want, Rockwell chose Thanksgiving as the perfect symbolic moment for Americans.

please give thanks for all you have this Thanksgiving. But please also remember that part of giving thanks involves helping others to have something to be thankful for, too. Give everyone a place at the table and you’ll be able to smile back at that boy in the corner in the true spirit of the season and the true meaning of Norman Rockwell’s painting.

Please give thanks for all you have this Thanksgiving. But please also remember that part of giving thanks involves helping others to have something to be thankful for, too. Give everyone a place at the table and you’ll be able to smile back at that boy in the corner in the true spirit of the season and the true meaning of Norman Rockwell’s painting.


Histoire des Arts Norman Rockwell : Freedom from Want
 lakanal.entmip.fr › lectureFichiergw

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