Sunday, July 22, 2007


Joseph Christian Leyendecker
(23 March 1874–25 July 1951) was a popular American illustrator.

Of Dutch ancestry, born in Germany, he emigrated to the United States at the age of eight in 1882 from Montabaur, Germany, with his parents, Peter Leyendecker and Elizabeth née Oreseifen, his sister, Augusta, and two brothers, Francis Xavier "Frank" Leyendecker, and Adolph Leyendecker.

Leyendecker obtained a job at an engraving company, and attended the Chicago Art Institute under Vanderpoel, and five years later attended, with his brother Frank, the Académie Julian in Paris.

Over forty years, Leyendecker illlustrated covers for the enormously popular Saturday Evening Post.

In total, he produced over 300 illustrations for the magazine.

Leyendecker drew propaganda posters during World War I, encouraging people to buy war bonds.

He obtained major advertising and illustrating commissions, which made him possibly the most influential commercial artist in the United States at the time.

His Arrow Collar Man, who was modeled on his lover, Charles Beach, became the masculine equivalent of the Gibson Girl, an ideal of beauty to be emulated by the mass of American men. Leyendecker also did advertising illustration for Hart, Schaffner & Marx.

Leyendecker was the chief influence on, and a friend of, Norman Rockwell, who was a pallbearer at Leyendecker's funeral.

In 1914 the Leyendecker brothers built an estate in New Rochelle, New York, where they, their sister, and Charles Beach, lived.

Leyendecker was elected to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1977.

1 comment:

RIC said...

Magnificent, most elegant, exquisite!
I believe my ideas and fantasies about the first 20 to 30 years of the century are based on that kind of imagery. Amazing!
Tank you, dear Don, for such a beautiful post!