119 – Triple Self Portrait

119 – Triple Self Portrait

Norman Rockwell
c. 1959
Cover illustration for the Saturday Evening Post (February 13, 1960)
Oil on canvas

Cultural Connections

In the Post cover, Triple Self-Portrait, Rockwell recognizes his role as an illustrator, and shows his admiration for the fine artists, Durer, Rembrandt, Picasso, and Van Gogh. The artist also explores the idea of his identity during a time when Americans were asking if they could be suffering an “identity crisis”—a term coined by Rockwell’s own therapist, the noted psychoanalyst Erik Erikson. In Erikson’s 1950 book, titled Childhood and Society, he details the concepts of identity crisis, and the eight stages of human development and its relationship to cultural influences.

Norman Rockwell with Erik Erikson, on right, and an identified man in Rockwell's studio, c. 1962

Norman Rockwell with Erik Erikson, on right, and an identified man in Rockwell’s studio, c. 1962

<em>Portrait of Erik Erikson</em> by Norman Rockwell, 1962

Portrait of Erik Erikson by Norman Rockwell, 1962

<em>Tom Sawyer Reading Erik Erikson</em> by Norman Rockwell

Tom Sawyer Reading Erik Erikson by Norman Rockwell