Veterans Day in Art

The War Hero (Homecoming Marine), 1945 - Norman Rockwell
The War Hero (Homecoming Marine), 1945 – Norman Rockwell

As a way to honor veterans and those currently serving, here is a painting by American artist and illustrator, Norman Rockwell.  Most of us know that Mr. Rockwell provided nearly countless images for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, a magazine especially popular during the years of World War Two.

Interestingly, the title “War Hero” seems to be shrugged off  by the expression of the soldier who has returned home.  The Japanese flag is symbolic of the fact that he has returned, perhaps still processing his service to his country.  Somehow, Rockwell was able to convey the soldier not so much in a posture of victor in battle but as one with a wider perspective of purpose and integrity.  Clearly, he is held in high regard as the gathering of his friends and family admire him gratefully for his selflessness.

Rockwell’s images are sometimes knocked for being too “sepia toned” in their bucolic orchestration of sentiment, yet he remains as one of the greatest American artists for his ability to render and intrigue viewers with a visual narrative.  Our civic respect still carries forward, as again today we pause to reflect on the men and women who serve for our security and our maintenance of peace.

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