In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, illustrators were celebrities. They were household names. It might sound strange today, but consider an illustrator’s role in society; this was before photographs were routinely used in magazines and newspapers, so illustrators were the ones who helped define the visual culture at that time. Of the illustrators with immense cultural influence, J.C. Leyendecker was at the top.
Leyendecker had a distinctive style with exquisite attention to detail and a knack for capturing the essence of his subjects. His work for advertising and the covers of Collier’s Weekly and The Saturday Evening Post made him a household name. Leyendecker’s compelling characters, who were sophisticated and good-looking, also made him synonymous with style and elegance.