In 1960s Norman Rockwell produced one of the most famous self portraits of the American Art. A naturally modest man, he must have felt some reservation about making himself a subject of a cover.
He'd put himself on covers before but they were usually only cameo apperances in groups.
Now he produced a cover called ' Triple self portrait'. The cover actually contains seven self portraits of the artist. There is the painter, his reflexion in the mirror, his unfinished painting," that noble creature on canvas" he jokingly called it. And there are four premilinary sketches of himself tacked to the side of his canvas. There are kept competent by Rockwell small skillful copies of four famous self portraits by other artists: ?, Rembrandt, Picasso and Van Gogh.
At the top of the easel, Rockwell has included a reminder to himself, not to be taken in by appearances, he had bought this helmet in a Paris antique shop thinking it was the headdress of an ancient Greek or Roman soldier. Carrying it back to his Paris hotel, he stopped to watch firefighters working to save a burning building and he realized every fireman had a helmet identical to the one he'd just bought.
Rockwell explained why his glasses look opaque in the painting.
" I had to show that my glasses were fogged and that I couldn't actually see what I looked like: a homely lanky fellow and therefore I could stretch the truth just a bit and think myself looking more suave and debonair than I actually am."
He might have been making fun of himself but the painting is actually a thoughtful portrait of Rockwell's three selves himself as the painter, the observer and the public image.