For the Love o' Lil: Begging by Leslie Thrasher

  • A young woman rebuffs the advances of an older admirer in this painting by Leslie Thrasher
  • This piece was composed as part of a cover series for Liberty Magazine called "For the Love o' Lil"
  • Imbued with a sense of drama and humor, this piece skillfully tells a story
  • Thrasher was one of the leading figures of the golden age of American Illustration
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-1374

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Leslie Thrasher
1889-1936 | American

For the Love o' Lil: Begging
Liberty Magazine cover

Signed “Leslie Thrasher” (lower right)
Oil on canvas

This composition by American illustrator Leslie Thrasher comes from his extremely popular For the Love o’ Lil cover series for Liberty Magazine. In it, the titular character, Lil, rebuffs the advances of a begging older admirer as she looks away longingly, thinking of another. Thrasher paints these characters with a mix of drama and his signature humor, giving the piece a personality all its own.

In 1926, Thrasher received a huge contract with Liberty Magazine to produce one cover illustration per week for six consecutive years. For this project, he created a continuing story called For the Love o’ Lil, which followed the lives of Lil Morse and Sandy Jenkins, a typical middle-class American couple, through their courtship, marriage and childrearing. Each issue had an accompanying page-long story related to the cover, and Lil was so popular with the public that readers would write in with potential storylines for the characters. For the Love o’ Lil was so well-liked it even became a serialized radio program and a feature film.

Born in 1889 in Piedmont, West Virginia, Thrasher studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts as a teenager and received a scholarship to study art abroad in Paris. Upon his return, he began studying under Howard Pyle, known as the “father of American illustration.” Thrasher sold his first cover illustration to the Saturday Evening Post in 1912, four years before Norman Rockwell’s first Post cover, and he would go on to produce over 360 magazine covers throughout his career. He painted humorous, relatable scenes of everyday life in America with colorful characters set against white backgrounds. He was also a successful commercial artist, painting advertisements for Cream of Wheat, Chesterfield Cigarettes and Fisk Tire.

Circa 1927

Canvas: 20" high x 16" wide
Frame: 26" high x 22" wide
For the Love o' Lil: Begging by Leslie Thrasher
Period: 1919-Present
Origin: America
Type: Paintings
Style: Illustration

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