Picasso vs Sargent

Norman Rockwell
Picasso vs Sargent, 2018.
Sculpture Reflections Collection.
Limited edition bronze sculpture with glass and canvas objects.
Signed and numbered in the plaque by the Norman Rockwell Family Estate.

Norman Rockwell left the Saturday Evening Post in 1963 and went on to create work for other publications, one of which was LOOK Magazine. On January 11, 1966, Look Magazine featured Rockwell’s Picasso vs. Sargent. We see a gallery wall with a painting by John Singer Sargent on one wall and a painting by Picasso on the other.

Sargent’s portrait of Mrs. George Swinton was done in 1897 whereas Picasso’s paintings of Marie Theresa Walter were done in the 1930s. A woman and her young daughter gaze at Sargent’s grand portrait with elaborate gilded framing as a young woman with an artist’s notepad looks at the Picasso painting. A shift in culture and society can be detected in this one painting. The woman in front of Sargent’s painting has her hair wrapped in rollers covered by a sheer scarf and is wearing her overcoat, nylons, and heels. Her daughter matches her mother with her hair wrapped in curlers, holding her doll, wearing her overcoat, and both peer up at this ideal portrayal of grace and beauty from an age long passed. The young woman wears jeans, flat boots, and a black sweater with her leather jacket in hand. Her hair hangs loosely around her shoulders and she stands at ease as she looks at Picasso’s cubist take on a woman’s portrait.

Picasso was a major figure in bringing modernism into the art world and was part of a major shift in culture. The 1960s was also a time for major shifts in culture as civil rights movements, women’s movements, and social norms were all being challenged. Women weren’t following in their mother’s footsteps any longer and the focus was shifting from becoming wives and mothers, to getting an education and their own voice in society.

Norman Rockwell Sculpture Reflections – Off The Wall Gallery Houston, Texas.

Artwork size: 26 x 20.5 x 28.5 inches / 66 x 52 x 72 cm.
Inv #: AB8112
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