Man Seated by Radiator by Norman Rockwell

  • This charming painting by Norman Rockwell was created as an advertisement for a radiator company
  • Exhibiting extraordinary charm and nostalgia, it is among the artist's finest early advertisements
  • His ability to tell a story made his works prized amongst advertisers
  • Rockwell is considered one of the most important American artists of the 20th century
  • Get complete item description here
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Norman Rockwell
1894-1978 | American 

Man Seated by Radiator

Signed “Norman Rockwell” (lower right)
Oil on canvas 

Combining Norman Rockwell’s remarkable talents for narrative and nostalgia, this oil on canvas by the great American illustrator was almost certainly created as an advertisement for a radiator company. Depicting a kindly old man and his feline companion warming themselves next to the heater, this delightful oil on canvas represents the artist’s immense talent for rendering the nuances of everyday life. The painting boasts extraordinary detail and endless charm, and it is heartwarmingly Rockwellian in all aspects.

With his astute eye for narrative, Rockwell conveys the utility and convenience of a radiator, which was considered a luxury appliance in the early 20th century but was gaining in popularity around the time of this work’s creation circa 1935. Rockwell crafts an inviting setting, drawing viewers into the living space of his charming subject with believable and masterfully executed details, from the gentleman placing his book down for a moment to warm his hand over the radiator to the snow falling outside. The composition’s rich, warm palette enhances the coziness of the scene, and the subject’s friendly smile seems to invite the viewer into the scene.

Rockwell's ability to capture the character of the nation was prized not only by magazine art editors from popular publications such as Life, Literary Digest and the iconic Saturday Evening Post, but also by advertisers. Nearly all major companies of the day sought the artist out for his highly appealing compositions, including Jell-O, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Ford, Post Cereals, and the U.S. Army. Taken together, his many paintings capture the essence of the American spirit. “I paint life as I would like it to be,” Rockwell once said. Mythical, idealistic, and innocent, his paintings evoke a longing for a time and place that existed in his rich imagination and in the hopes and aspirations of the nation.

Norman Rockwell led a long and successful career as an artist. While history was in the making all around him, Rockwell chose to fill his canvases with the small details and nuances of ordinary people in everyday life. Taken together, his many paintings capture the essence of the American spirit. Rockwell said, "Without thinking too much about it in specific terms, I was showing the America I knew and observed to others who might not have noticed." Rockwell's distinguished career earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, the highest honor bestowed upon an American civilian.

This work is pictured in Norman Rockwell: A Definitive Catalogue, Volume II, by Laurie Norton Moffatt.

Circa 1935

Canvas: 40" high x 30 1/4" wide
Frame: 49 5/8" high x 39 3/4" wide

Provenance:
Collection of Studio 53, New York
Martin Diamond Fine Art, New York
Elayne Galleries, Minneapolis
Sale, Sotheby’s New York, May 27, 1999, lot 181B
Private collection, Pennsylvania
M.S. Rau, New Orleans
Man Seated by Radiator by Norman Rockwell
Maker: Rockwell, Norman
Period: 1919-Present
Origin: America
Type: Paintings
Depth: 3.0 Inches
Width: 39.75 Inches
Height: 49.62 Inches
Style: Illustration
Canvas Width: 30.25 Inches
Canvas Height: 40 Inches
Man Seated by Radiator by Norman Rockwell
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