One of Norman Rockwell’s greatest masterpieces is set to star in Sotheby’s American Art auction on November 13.
Titled Shuffleton’s Barbershop, the work shows a view through a window into a cosily lit scene. Just visible in the back room are three men playing on violin, cello and flute.
Rockwell has lavished extraordinary care on this scene
It was used as the cover of the April 29, 1950 edition of the Saturday Evening Post – Rockwell’s longstanding patron.
Sotheby’s comments: “Executed at the height of the artist’s career, Shuffleton’s Barbershop represents the very best of Norman Rockwell: a technical tour-de-force that demonstrates the continuing power and resonance of the artist’s distinctive vision of American life...
“Much like the paintings of Vermeer, his most complex works stand as moments of a larger overarching narrative in which the preceding and subsequent events are visually implied but not shown.
“It always leaves the viewer wanting to look closer and to know more, a testament to Rockwell’s rare gift as a storyteller.”
The estimate is $20m-30m. If it hits that top bracket, it’ll become one of the most valuable Rockwell paintings ever sold.
His record is $46m, set for his iconic Saying Grace in 2013. This present work, while less well known, is very much of the same quality.
We’ve got some fascinating artefacts from across the history of art for sale.
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