In 1961, Norman Rockwell painted The Connoisseur, an oil on canvas regionalism genre painting depicting a male portrait. The painting is a mix of art criticism and Rockwell’s bravado in showcasing that he can paint in a modern style as well. Mixing Jackson Pollock’s trademark drip painting with Rockwell’s signature illustrations, the artwork symbolizes the relationship between conventional and modern art.
Rockwell always had an interest in modern and abstract art, which is evident through this piece of art. The famous artist designed the cover to acknowledge his appreciation for this genre. The Connoisseur highlights how diverse Rockwell’s skills were as an artist beyond just his trademark wholesome imagery. Unsurprisingly, it became quite popular when it was released.
Norman Rockwell was known for being one of America’s most beloved artists during the 20th century. Born in New York City in 1894, he enrolled at The New York School of Art at just 14 years old to pursue his passion for art. Over the next ten years, he created works exploring civil rights poverty, space exploration and much more while working for Look magazine.
The Connoisseur remains one of Norman Rockwell’s most famous paintings due to it being unique compared to his other artworks both stylistically and thematically. It has managed to captivate audiences due to its harmonious blend of traditionalism and contemporary flair, something that set him apart from other top tier artists during the era.