Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday Salon: A Favorite Painting or Two.....or Three!

J.C. Leyendecker (1874 - 1951), the splendid German born American Golden Age illustrator was most closely associated with The Saturday Evening Post, a hugely popular and widely read magazine for which he created 322 covers. He originated the New Years Babies in this post.

Leyendecker's red cheeked Santas were also a favorite. As were the stylishly chic (and often impossibly handsome) men and women he illustrated for his many clients.

There are few artists who painted men in such a highly idealized and beautiful way. Leyendecker's use of light and various glistening color tones for flesh and to indicate musculature, his stylized handling of fabric was unique and today, instantly recognizable.

According to a Wikipedia quote: "Leyendecker virtually invented the whole idea of modern magazine design." I agree.

But Leyendecker was far from a one note wonder. He could do glamor splendidly, but he could also do doting and loving grandmothers and mothers and do them very well indeed.

J.C. Leyendecker greatly influenced many of the famous illustrators who came after him. He was revered by most, including Norman Rockwell who was a long time friend and a pallbearer at Leyendecker's funeral in 1951.

To read about Joseph Christian Leyendecker, his life and work, please use this link. 

To see more of Leyendecker's illustrations, please use this link.



  1. Beautiful post and paintings. I love your posts like this. I always learn something I feel like I should have already known but didn't. :) Happy New Year!

  2. I love the image of the couple dancing and the two men in the tuxedos. Gorgeous.

  3. Thank you, Picky. I'm glad you enjoy these posts. I enjoy putting them together.

    It's all about stuff I'm interested in and thinking that perhaps others might be interested in it too. :)

    Happy New Year!

  4. Ryan: Leyendecker glamorized men to the nth degree. I love them too.

  5. Thanks for a really wonderful collection of Leyendecker illustrations. You found some I've never seen before. I love the hunter on horseback with the foxhounds.
    Wishing you and yours a Happy and Healthy New Year too. xo, Rosemary

  6. You're welcome, Rosemary. Thanks for dropping by. :)

    The one of the rider on horseback is so impossibly glamorous yet full of imposing strength. I love it too.

    Happy New Year!

  7. Yvette,

    New Years is a time for looking forward and backward, and your illustrations here surely help looking backward, for me anyway.

    Pure Nostalgia!

    My folks always had a subscription to the Sat Evening Post, and every time I see one of those illustrations by Leyendecker and Norman Rockwell, I can't help but thinking of that magazine. It was a great magazine for me, especially with the wide range of great fiction it always had in every issue.

  8. I'm wandering in the past too, Fred.

    I loved the Sat. Evening Post too. Can't understand why the magazine closed up shop.

    Hard to believe Leyendecker did so many covers for them. 322!

    I love Leyendecker's work AND Rockwell's. You can easily see Leyendecker's influence in Rockwell's paintings.

  9. I wish you a wonderful and happy new year!

  10. Thank you, Sascha. The same back at you. Lots of good reading ahead!

  11. Leyendecker really understood light and shadow, and I've always loved that his entire world was high-gloss!

    Happy New Year!

  12. Thanks, Mark. :)

    It's going to be a great year.

    I love Leyendecker's work. He was unique. I was looking at some really close-up scans of his work and the energy is just amazing. He had a very definite point of view.


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