Kevin added a new article:
The painting graced the cover of Country Gentleman magazine in the summer of 1976, commissioned by the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center to celebrate Wayne’s induction into the Hall of Great Western Performers.
While best known for his animated pictures of everyday life in America, Norman Rockwell also had an enduring connection with Hollywood. He painted a number of movie illustrations and posters, including the 1966 remake of Stagecoach - the original 1939 film that coincidentally led to John Wayne's first major break-out role. Rockwell even won a bit part in the 1966 film, getting a taste of the big screen first hand. In addition to John Wayne, Rockwell also painted John F. Kennedy, Jack Benny, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, and Bob Hope.
In his depiction of John Wayne, Rockwell gathers a warm palette of bold colors and multiple horizon lines, measuring Wayne up with the grand landscapes he so naturally stood against in many of his films. The editors of Country Gentleman magazine noted this, saying that Wayne's “rocklike visage challenges the great faces on Mt. Rushmore”.
Fresh to the auction market, after being purchased by a private collector, its appeal is undeniable for lovers of classic American storytelling - it tugs on a rope of epic proportions where fine art and film are tightly clove hitched together.
In 1978, only a few years after completing the portrait, Norman Rockwell passed away. During that time John Wayne…