Portrait of Adlai E. Stevenson by Norman Rockwell
October 6, 1956 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Portrait of Adlai E. Stevenson, a Norman Rockwell painting , appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published October 6, 1956. This is another timeless favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic for all the ages.
This painting was Rockwell's 291st overall out of 322 total paintings that were published on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell's career with the Post spanned 47 years, from his first cover illustration, Boy With Baby Carriage in 1916 to his last, Portrait of John F. Kennedy, in 1963.
This was also the third cover for The Post in 1956. In 1956, there were five Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.
The location of the original oil on canvas painting is not known.
This painting also appears in three Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
One study also appears in the Norman Rockwell Catalogue on page 210 and is part of a private collection.
Pristine original copies of this magazine cover sell for respectable sums on eBay, when it is offered. And to think it only cost fifteen cents originally! And it was mint condition then, too.
Portrait of Adlai E. Stevenson
The presidential election campaign of 1952 featured two well respected candidates, former Illinois governor Adlai Ewing Stevenson II and Dwight David Eisenhower, a General during World War Two.
Norman Rockwell was given the opportunity to meet and paint portraits of both candidates, Stevenson as well as Eisenhower.
Stevenson was hard for Rockwell to catch up with. He was campaigning against a popular incumbent President, and he was very busy. However, he eventually need a break.
Rockwell met with Stevenson while the candidate was catching a breather in his campaigning on his farm in Illinois. Rockwell described Stevenson as "amiable, kind, unpretentious and quietly charming."
Portrait of Adlai E. Stevenson was only one of 322 Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers; Here is the list of Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover illustrations.
Here is the complete list of all Norman Rockwell magazine covers.
Rockwell found Stevenson hard to draw. This was because Stevenson was so generally round-featured and it was harded to depict features that were not irregular.
It is said that Rockwell told him that Abraham Lincoln was much easier to draw and Stevenson was much amused.
The election of 1956 was won by Dwight D. Eisenhower, just as he had won in 1952. Stevenson campaigned again for the Democratic nomination in 1960, but lost the nomination to a young Senator named John F. Kennedy. Kennedy named Stevenson to be ambassador to the United Nations, where he served from 1961 under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson until his death in 1965.
Many stories about Stevenson's wit are legendary. During one of Stevenson's three presidential campaigns, a supporter is said to have told him that he was certain to "get the vote of every thinking man" in the United States. Stevenson is said to reply to him, "Thank you, but I need a majority to win."
Norman Rockwell's Portrait of Adlai E. Stevenson (1956)
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Do you have a personal story about this painting? Do you know the model personally? Do you have a different take on the commentary?
Norman Rockwell Quotes:
I'll never have enough time to paint all the pictures I'd like to.
No man with a conscience can just bat out illustrations. He's got to put all his talent and feeling into them!
Some people have been kind enough to call me a fine artist. I've always called myself an illustrator. I'm not sure what the difference is. All I know is that whatever type of work I do, I try to give it my very best. Art has been my life.
Right from the beginning, I always strived to capture everything I saw as completely as possible.
The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they're always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back.
I can take a lot of pats on the back. I love it when I get admiring letters from people. And, of course, I'd love it if the critics would notice me, too.
You must first spend some time getting your model to relax. Then you'll get a natural expression.
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