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    Description

    Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978)
    Portrait of Richard Nixon, The Saturday Evening Post cover, November 5, 1960
    Oil on canvas
    16 x 12 inches (40.6 x 30.5 cm)
    Signed lower right: Norman / Rockwell
    Bears inscription on the reverse: P5229

    PROVENANCE:
    Bernard Danenberg Galleries, New York;
    University Computing Co., Dallas;
    Dallas Auction Gallery, Dallas, May 20, 2015, lot 42;
    Acquired by the present owner from the above.

    EXHIBITED:
    Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., and elsewhere, "Norman Rockwell: A Sixty Year Retrospective," May 26-July 23, 1972.

    LITERATURE:
    T. Buechner, Norman Rockwell: Artist & Illustrator, New York, 1970, pp. 490, 571, illustrated;
    L.N. Moffatt, Norman Rockwell: A Definitive Catalogue, Vol. I, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1986, p. 229, fig. C501, illustrated.

    "I am no politician and certainly no statesman. But I have painted thousands of people and I should by now be a judge of what their faces say about what they are."-Norman Rockwell

    Norman Rockwell's strikingly lifelike Portrait of Richard M. Nixon appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post on November 5, 1960, three days prior to the presidential election. This work was Rockwell's 313rd overall of 322 total pictures featured on the cover of The Post. The artist's career with The Post spanned forty-seven years, from his first cover illustration, Boy with Baby Carriage in 1916 to his last, Portrait of John F. Kennnedy, in 1963. This was also Rockwell's sixth work featured on the cover of The Post that calendar year.

    The U.S. Presidential electoral contest in 1960 was principally between the two candidates of the two major parties, Republican Richard Milhous Nixon and Democrat John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Nixon was the sitting Vice-President under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Kennedy was then a young Senator from Massachusetts. The Post had commissioned Norman Rockwell to paint portraits of both candidates as part of its election coverage.

    The election ended up being a close one. Kennedy garnered only 0.2% more votes Than Nixon. John F. Kennedy became the 35th President of the United States when he took his oath of office on January 20, 1961.

    Throughout his career, Rockwell produced numerous illustrations related to U.S. presidential elections. Beginning with the 1952 presidential campaign through 1960 Rockwell created portraits of the major candidates for the covers of The Post. His uniquely genuine representations of these political figures would become familiar images within American culture at large, and still maintain their cultural relevance today. Rockwell also created numerous illustrations for periodicals and advertising campaigns depicting the engagement of Americans in the election process, which itself has historically been perceived as a symbol of patriotism and freedom for American audiences.

    Rockwell would again paint Nixon eight years later upon his successful election as president. The image was published in the February 4, 1969 edition of Look magazine, and the original work is currently housed and on display at the Smithsonian's in Washington, DC.

    In the present portrait, Rockwell, in his characteristic way, captures the humanity and most relatable aspects of his sitter. The politician's set brown eyes are depicted with a quiet stillness; a slight crinkle at their corners and a genuine, direct gaze toward the viewer. A restrained yet friendly smile bestows his subject with a mildness of character and approachability, traits the American public has always sought in its leaders.

    Interestingly, Rockwell wrote of his subject, "President Nixon is the hardest man I ever had to paint, ever, because he is almost good-looking. He's got a mean eye. I voted for him, but he's got a mean eye. And then he has these big chestnuts in his jowls"


    More information about Norman Rockwell, also known as Rockwell, Norman, Rockwell, Norman Perceval.

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    Framed Dimensions 27 X 32 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2021
    5th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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