This fine painting was a direct commission by the American company, General Foods of Rye, New York, for their “good to the last drop” coffee, Maxwell House. Its pure warm emotion, combined with a look at two individuals representing people at leisure, are hallmarks of the art of Norman Rockwell.
Literally, fishing poles and hats with well-tied flies are all that identify the boat’s passengers true activity. Their intended endeavor noted, this painting is as much about the camaraderie between the men, and one may imagine that once the smiling gentleman has finished with his cup, he would swap for a turn at the oars. Rockwell built his compositions from loose sketches through creative drawings, and by the time he was ready to commit to a finished oil, the anatomical details of the men literally come to life on the canvas. Their arms have muscle tone and there is life in the expressions. He achieved a result that is inspiring and respectful of his human subjects in all instances, skillfully cultivated with small touches of humor and care.
The importance of Norman Rockwell as an iconic artist of American idealism is not to be trifled. Widely recognized and sought-after, his paintings and illustrations are insightful slices of Americana by her most beloved and enduring artist.
Original Label Verso: General Foods Corp. New York; 05/16/34 - A3625
Maxwell House Coffee, Two Men Fishing Poster
This painting is recorded in the archives of the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA.
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