Lot 58
  • 58

Norman Rockwell

800,000 - 1,200,000 USD
1,635,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Norman Rockwell
  • Overheard Lovers
  • signed Norman/Rockwell (lower right)
  • oil on canvas


J.N. Bartfield Galleries, New York
The Collection of Mrs. Charles W. Fribley, Jr.
Gift to the present owner from the above


The Saturday Evening Post, November 21, 1936, cover illustration (©SEPS licensed by Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved)
Thomas Buechner, Norman Rockwell: Artist & Illustrator, New York, 1970, no. 309, illustrated p. 130
Christopher Finch, Norman Rockwell's America, New York, 1975, no. 96, illustrated pp. 88, 288
Christopher Finch, Norman Rockwell: 322 Magazine Covers, New York, 1979, pp. 246, 271
Dr. Donald R. Stoltz and Marshall L. Stoltz, Norman Rockwell and 'The Saturday Evening Post:' The Middle Years, New York, 1976, p. 123, illustrated p. 124 (as Eavesdropping)
Mary Moline, Norman Rockwell Encyclopedia: A Chronological Catalogue of the Artist’s Work, 1910-1978, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1979, illustrated fig. 1-279, p. 61
Laurie Norton Moffatt, Norman Rockwell: Catalogue Raisonné, vol. I, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1986, no. C359, p. 135, illustrated p. 134
Jan Cohn, Covers of ‘The Saturday Evening Post:’ Seventy Years of Outstanding Illustration from America’s Favorite Magazine, New York, 1995, illustrated p. 139
Richard Halpern, Norman Rockwell: The Underside of Innocence, Chicago, Illinois, 2005, p. 33, illustrated p. 34

Catalogue Note

Rendered for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post on November 21, 1936, Overheard Lovers reflects the central role that the theme of young romance played in Rockwell’s body of work. This young couple appeared in several of the artist’s illustrations from the 1920s and 30s, allowing his audience to follow the progression of their courtship. In the present work Rockwell employs his characteristic sympathetic humor to illustrate a moment when the lovers are disturbed by an inquisitive man listening in on their conversation in the park. He infuses the scene with rich details, such as the dog’s wiry fur and cable knit sweater, and successfully incoroporates The Post’s cover format to create a fully realized scene, transporting the viewer to a specific time and place. Overheard Lovers demonstrates not only the full extent of the artist’s technical precision and masterful draftsmanship, but also his seemingly limitless imagination, making it a truly remarkable example of Rockwell’s unparalleled ability to elevate commercial endeavors into the aesthetic realm.