Friday, April 15, 2011

J. C. Leyendecker

Another recent acquisition: J. C. Leyendecker (Abrams). Leyendecker and Norman Rockwell were the two giants of the Golden Age of Illustration, although Leyendecker has never matched Rockwell's enduring ubiquity. Both were technical masters, both composed their paintings brilliantly, but Rockwell's small-town subjects were embraced in a way that Leyendecker's swells never were. Regardless of the subject matter, it's hard not to be moved by the lush sensuality of Leyendecker's world, where everything glistens like Bakelite, and the paint goes down in bold staccato strokes, as thick as cake frosting.

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