[NARRATOR] Rockwell’s career spanned both World Wars. Here we see an example of his government work right after World War I. In this army-recruiting poster, a handsome soldier learns to use the telegraph. Notice his distinctive, chiseled profile. Rockwell was inspired by a popular advertising character of the day –The “Arrow Collar Man,” a creation of illustrator J.C. Leyendecker, who was one of Rockwell’s heroes.
Notice how the light falls across the scene from the left side of the painting. It lights up the soldier’s hat, on the left, and his face, on the right. In between, Rockwell makes sure the light also touches the wires, highlighting them with orange. He goes far beyond what’s necessary, transforming a simple Army poster into something elegant and beautiful.