Norman Rockwell's Saying Grace to make $20m?

Norman Rockwell's iconic masterpiece Saying Grace is among a selection of seven paintings by the artist offered at Sotheby's on December 4.

The painting carries a valuation of $15m-20m and comes from the family of Kenneth J Stuart Sr - Rockwell's editor and friend.

The painting appeared on the cover of the 1951 Thanksgiving issue of the Saturday Evening Post, and was voted readers' favourite in a poll conducted in 1955. In total Rockwell produced 323 covers for the Post over 47 years.

Rockwell Saying Grace Sotheby's
The painting was voted readers' favourite in a 1955 poll held by the Saturday Evening Post

The Gossips, a montage style piece, also features with an estimate of $6m-9m.

The record price for a work by Norman Rockwell is $15.4m for Breaking Home Ties, acheived at Sotheby's New York in 2006. The painting was discovered behind a false wall in a house in Vermont.

Sotheby's head of American art, Elizabeth Goldberg, commented: "To offer any one of these masterworks would be a great privilege. To present two of Norman Rockwell's most iconic works in one auction truly is unprecedented. Kenneth J Stuart Sr, who was both a gifted art director and close friend, led Rockwell to produce what are arguably the greatest works of his career."

Goldberg went on to say that Rockwell's vision of American life has become so influential that many of his scenes feel deeply familiar, but when experienced in person the paintings illicit an emotional response that is far more powerful than anticipated.

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