DescriptionJoseph Christian Leyendecker (1874-1951) Original Preliminary Painting (1918). J. C. Leyendecker's distinctive and innovative style made him one of the most influential and important illustrators of the 20th century. Beginning with his first cover for the The Saturday Evening Post in 1899, Leyendecker would forge a union with the Post, and the American public, that would make illustration history. Surpassed only by his devoted admirer Norman Rockwell, Leyendecker would produce more Post covers than any other artist, 321 in all. He had the ability to uniquely portray and evoke a myriad of moods in his work, whether romantic, satirical or regal. One of his most memorable creations for the Post began in 1906 when his first New Year's baby appeared. For years the Leyendecker baby marked the coming year, expressing the tone of the times, and has since become an American icon. Much like the Gibson Girl became the image most women of the time hoped to attain, Leyendecker's Arrow Collar Man became the model for the fashionable, sophisticated man at the turn of the century.
As his contribution to the war effort in World War I, Leyendecker created several memorable images. This work, a fully finished study, was published in its final form as a poster in 1918. It portrayed a lone American soldier with the caption "Somewhere in France, Doing His Share." It is rendered in oil on canvas, and framed (19.5 x 18) with a sight size of approximately 15.5 x 13.5. The finished poster was reproduced on page 246 of the book Wake Up America!, World War I and The American Poster by Walton Rawls. A photo of the finished poster is included.
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