I'm a huge Norman Rockwell fan. I stumbled on this gem the other day, and quickly remembered it when I was a kid, flipping through the pages my parents big ol' coffee table book of Rockwell's paintings. But this time, as though I've never noticed it before, I related this piece to animation. It must be the most animated painting he ever did! And, in wonderful Rockwell style, it's completely character driven, leading the viewer on this trip from person to person, and ending up right back at the original girl, the source of the gossip. Pure gold.
Rockwell represents for me, a purity in characterization and an excellence in technical skill. Just like Leyendecker, I love to study the poses, facial expressions, compositions, and virtually everything else about his work. I feel Leyendecker had more of an older school elegance and edge to his paintings, capturing a maturity that Rockwell didn't seem all that interested in portraying. (below: Leyendeckers study)His paintings are also is representative of an interesting time in American history, filled with amazing idealism as well as ludicrous hypocrisy, intriguing contrasts, politics, controversy.. illustrating a to a key, an idealized human spirit. btw.. for some reason I always get crap for praising Rockwell.. let's see.