Norman Percevel Rockwell
(February 3, 1894 – November 8, 1978) was an American illustrator, best known for his magazine covers for The Saturday Evening Post
from 1916 to 1963. Rockwell's works typically involved gently humorous or sentimental depictions of children or idyllic American life. His paintings have been frequently homaged or parodied in popular culture.References/Homages/ShoutOuts to his paintings in Popular Culture:
Tropes associated with Rockwell and his paintings:
- The All-American Boy: One of his favorite subjects.
- Aside Glance: "Freedom from Want" is a well-known example.
- Author Avatar / Creator Cameo: Rockwell worked himself into several of his paintings, usually with an element of mild Self-Deprecation. A classic example is "Triple Self-Portrait" (shown above).
- Children Are Innocent
- Culture Equals Costume: "The Golden Rule"
- Creator Thumbprint: Children, animals, expressive postures and elaborate costuming.
- Eagleland: Type I
- Embarrassing Tattoo: "The Tattoo", where a tough looking guy is having the name of his next girlfriend being written on his arm, atop a long list of crossed out names of former girlfriends.
- Everytown, America
- The Fifties
- Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: "Stolen Clothes" has a mild variant, with a dog making off with a boy's pants and leaving him in his swim trunks.
- Gossipy Hens: "The Gossips"
- Gossip Evolution
- Heroic BSOD: "The Discovery"
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Model James K. Brunt makes frequent appearances, which you can usually tell thanks to his Badass Mustache.
- Malt Shop: "The Soda Jerk"
- Marilyn Maneuver: "The Cave of Winds"
- Mood Whiplash: Look at a bunch of Rockwell's small-town life paintings, then check out "Let's Give Him Enough and On Time"◊.
- Posthumous Collaboration: "Garfield Visits Rockwell," originally done for a Garfield calendar and now being merchandised.
- P.O.V. Cam: Subjects in Rockwell's paintings are often seen from behind in this manner.
- Recurring Characters: Willie Gillis during World War II on Saturday Evening Post covers; Cousin Reginald on The Country Gentlemen covers.
- Rogue Juror: "Jury Room"
- Scout Out: Averted. Rockwell was an official calendar artist for the Boy Scouts of America for fifty years.
- Slice of Life
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: His work has been criticized as too idealistic, but in response, he said, "I paint life as I would like it to be."
- Even his civil rights paintings were optimistic that America was doing the right thing desegregating schools and neighborhoods.
- Something Completely Different:
- Rockwell did several April Fools' Day covers for the Post which were essentially visual puzzles inviting the reader to spot the many "errors" contained therein.
- A number of his later Post covers were simple portraits of well-known figures including Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.
- Spiritual Successor:
- Alex Ross is cited as "The Norman Rockwell of Comics". Illustrator C.F. Payne's back cover paintings for Reader's Digest have also been frequently compared to Rockwell's work.
- Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light(tm) wanted to be Norman Rockwell so very badly ("painting for the people"), but thought that meant painting landscapes with buildings so brightly lit that "seem consumed from within by raging infernos."
- Frank Capra, though more a contemporary than a successor, could be seen as filmdom's answer to Rockwell.
- Sweetheart Sipping: This Orange Crush advertisement◊.
- Also the Post cover "A Day in the Life of a Girl".
- World War II: Rockwell depicted many soldiers during the wartime years. Most famously Willie Gillis.