Eye Candy for Today: Leyendecker turkey SEP cover

Thanksgiving cover for The Saturday Evening Post, November 26, 1927, J.C. Leyendecker
Thanksgiving cover for The Saturday Evening Post, November 26, 1927 (details), J.C. Leyendecker

Thanksgiving cover for The Saturday Evening Post, November 26, 1927, J.C. Leyendecker

Link is to the largest image of this painting I could find, which is on Pinterest. If that doesn’t work for you, try this one.

Another wonderful holiday cover for The Saturday Evening Post by the brilliant American illustrator J.C. Leyendecker.

I love the way the visible scent of the steaming hot turkey is drifting down around the snoozing grandpa.

I also love the value contrasts between the dark almost silhouette of the grandfather and the lighter figures of the mother and child, who Leyendecker has managed to push back in the frame, despite their higher chroma. I also admire the way he has handled slightly muted complementary dolor contrasts in the oranges and blues in the face and clothing of the mother.

We have more of those wonderful trademark Leyendecker folds in the clothing, but somewhat flattened and posterized compared to his usual super-dimensional treatment.

The figure of the mother and child are more or less outlined, but with outlines of color rather than black, and the outlines playfully become lost and found (as in the portion of the mother’s right forearm between her sleeve and bracelet).

The color outlines, as contrasted with the dark outlines on the chair, are characteristic of a technique later used in late 20th century and modern American comics called a “color hold”, in which colors are substituted for formerly black outlines to push a figure to the back.

Rarely do I examine an image of a Leyendecker painting without going “Wow!” under my breath.

Have a good — and safe — Thanksgiving!

 
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