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Norman Rockwell Reference Photos


I can remember the first Norman Rockwell illustration hanging in my house as a kid. I used to study their outfits and expressions--the girls seemed more real than photographs of people. I think it's this sense of exaggerated emotion that makes Rockwell so popular. When he paints a Thanksgiving feast it's too idyllic to be real, but it strikes a familiar note; we know what that turkey tastes like and the feeling of being surrounded by family and someone returning from a long trip. There's always a lot of debate over whether Norman Rockwell is an artist or an illustrator, but the point seems mostly moot. The distinction between the too seems as much based in snobbery as skill and message. Anyway, I recently stumbled across these reference photographs Rockwell used for his paintings and was drawn to his ability to capture details and expression while adding artistic flair.