Joseph Christian Leyendecker, an American artist and illustrator working in the early 20th century, is most well known for his posters and magazine work for the The Saturday Evening Post. Influenced by Alfonso Mucha, and Toulouse, he lived in Chicago and then New York, where his paintings propelled him to the forefront of American advertising illustration. His popular paintings for the Arrow brand, based on Charles Beach, his partner and assumed lover, became synonymous with the ideal man during the Roaring Twenties. Chiselled jaws and broad shoulders with deft, sharp brush strokes, he was able to project the perfect fashionable American man.
Indeed his drawings influenced design and his work for various brands set the standard for many aspects of popular culture during the time. Leyendecker was good friends with Norman Rockwell, whose own early work often drew inspiration from J.C’s. Parties hosted with Beach, at his home in New York make me think of “The Great Gatsby”. I love how his paintings use the placement of paint not only to depict his subjects, but also as a design element that complements the work as a whole.
“Due to his fame as an illustrator, Leyendecker was able to indulge in a very luxurious lifestyle which in many ways embodied the decadence of the Roaring Twenties. However, when commissions began to wane in the 1930s, he was forced to curtail spending considerably. By the time of his death, Leyendecker had let all of the household staff at his New Rochelle estate go, with he and Beach attempting to maintain the extensive estate themselves. Leyendecker left a tidy estate equally split between his sister and Beach. Leyendecker is buried alongside parents and brother Frank at Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, New York. Charles Beach died a few months after Leyendecker, and his burial location is unknown.”source wikipedia