Tuesday, June 06, 2017

June Masterpiece of the Month: Freedom of Speech by Norman Rockwell

Who Made It?
An American illustrator named, Norman Rockwell, created this painting for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post magazine in 1943.

Where Is the REAL One?
The real painting can be seen at The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Why Is This Artwork Important?
Rockwell’s paintings were known for appearing on the covers of The Saturday Evening Post magazine, and he is considered to be one of the most famous illustrators of America. However, after World War II began, Rockwell felt he needed to contribute something to his country. He decided to create visual images to illustrate the four essential human freedoms described by then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt in his State of the Union address on Jan. 6, 1941. These freedoms were: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want.
Despite the government's best efforts to teach the public about The Four Freedoms, most people still did not known about them. Rockwell’s illustrations were used to make people more familiar, and they were very successful! As the series became more famous, The Four Freedoms gave people a lot of hope and encouragement during World War II. Rockwell felt Freedom of Speech was the strongest of the four paintings. His pictures had the ability too capture everyday details in which most people can easily relate. Here, the main character is dressed in work clothes and his hands are rough from hard work, unlike those of the people around him. We (the viewers) are sitting in the audience looking up at the man as he is about to speak, which makes the picture seem close and intimate. The black background makes the man’s face even more noticeable to our eyes.