The Welder by Norman Rockwell

  • This rare oil on canvas is by the celebrated American illustrator Norman Rockwell
  • Entitled The Welder, the work was featured on the cover of Popular Science Monthly
  • The heartwarming work creates a charming Rockwellian story of a welder at work
  • It is a stunning example of Rockwell's ability to weave a complex narrative into a single image
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-1589

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Norman Rockwell
1894-1978 | American 

The Welder
Popular Science Monthly
cover, April 1921

Signed "Norman Rockwell" (lower left)
Oil on canvas

A welder at work is the subject of this original oil by the great American illustrator Norman Rockwell. The composition was featured on the April 1921 cover of the Popular Science Monthly; the rare early work is one of just two covers that Rockwell ever supplied for the publication. It represents an important subset of Rockwell's output — those works that celebrate the great American worker. Executed in his early style that mimics the composition and palette of the European Old Masters, the heartwarming work creates a charming Rockwellian story that captures the essence of the American spirit.

Over the course of his seven-decades long career, Rockwell forged a sense of national identity through his over 800 magazine covers and advertisements, creating works that depicted a sweeping range of subjects. Almost always, these nostalgic moments on canvas captured the common man undergoing everyday tasks that occurred in average American neighborhoods. He composed The Welder when he was just 26 years of age, but that same sense of nostalgia and familiarity is evident in every compositional element. Rockwell's welder is bent over his work table repairing a broken teapot, blowing through a tube to fuel the flame with oxygen. His eyeglasses lie beside him on the table, along with other projects saved for another day. It is a stunning example of Rockwell's ability to weave a complex narrative into a single image.

Norman Rockwell led a very long and incredibly 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." Painting poignant pictures that graced the covers of Literary Digest, the Saturday Evening Post, American, Life, Country Gentleman, and Look magazines, Rockwell's distinguished career earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, the highest honor bestowed upon an American civilian. 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.

Painted in 1921

Canvas: 14 1/2" high x 11 1/4" wide
Frame: 27 1/4" high x 23 7/8" wide
The Welder by Norman Rockwell
Maker: Rockwell, Norman
Period: 1919-Present
Origin: America
Type: Paintings
Depth: 3.75 Inches
Width: 23.88 Inches
Height: 27.25 Inches
Style: Illustration
Canvas Width: 11.25 Inches
Canvas Height: 14.5 Inches

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