Joseph Christian Leyendecker, ‘Soldier's Letter to Home’, ca. 1917,  M.S. Rau Antiques
Joseph Christian Leyendecker, ‘Soldier's Letter to Home’, ca. 1917,  M.S. Rau Antiques
Joseph Christian Leyendecker, ‘Soldier's Letter to Home’, ca. 1917,  M.S. Rau Antiques

Among the most recognizable of American illustrator, J.C. Leyendecker's renowned WWI covers stands this intimate scene entitled Soldier's Letter to Home. The important work was featured on the October 6, 1917, cover of the Saturday Evening Post, the same month as when soldiers of the American Expeditionary Forces arrived at the front lines in Europe. Intimate and touching, the cover features a young U.S. soldier, presumably somewhere on the Western Front, writing a letter to home by the light of his fire. Leyendecker's World War I era works such as this one were among his most poignant, serving as stirring reminders to the American people to support their boys overseas.

Emerging as a major talent near the turn of the twentieth century, Leyendecker was to become one of the most prolific and beloved illustrators of his generation. In 1899, Leyendecker painted his first cover for Saturday Evening Post magazine, which was the beginning of a 44-year association with that esteemed publication. He captivated the American public with his sensational and stylish depictions of fashionable figures, while also managing to capture the character of the nation. With his distinctive style, he composed icons that continue to endure today. Over the course of his career, he would paint covers for Life magazine, illustrations for a library of books, and transform advertising for such companies as B. Kuppenheimer & Co. and Interwoven Socks. Instantly recognizable, he remains one of the most beloved American illustrators of the early 20th century.

Signature: Signed "JC Leyendecker” (lower right)

It's a Man's World, Illustration Art by and for Men, Illustration House, New York, November 2012
Illustrating America: Norman Rockwell and His Contemporaries, New York, November 2013 - January 2014
JC Leyendecker and The Saturday Evening Post Norman Rockwell Museum, March 2015 - June 2015

This work is pictured in J.C. Leyendecker, 2008, by L. Cutler and J.G. Cutler.

About Joseph Christian Leyendecker

German, 1874-1951, Montabaur, Germany, based in Chicago, IL, United States