This colorful and romantic gouache on illustration board is by the mid-century artist and illustrator Robert Patterson. It was created as an interior illustration for the May 1948 issue of McCall’s magazine. It accompanies a short story written by Frances Malm titled “Rain Beginning.”
The images shows a glamorous raven-haired beauty posed forehead-to-forehead with a man, her hand touching gently at his lapel. The pair share an intimate moment in front of an awkward audience of one older woman who is seated on a couch with a wistful look in her eyes.
The upper left corner of the illustration is signed by the artist.
As printed in McCall’s the illustration acts as dramatization of the following moment: “‘Hello, darling,’ Barbara said in an oddly submissive voice. ‘Have we forgiven each other for last night?’ Sophie could hardly believe her ears.”
Included in the sale of the painting is an issue of McCall’s magazine featuring the published illustration.
Also included in the sale of this painting is a typed press snipe promoting the artist. It appears to be for a story/illustration that didn’t make the cut for this issue. We don’t know whether this artwork was originally intended to illustrate another story, or whether this snipe was meant to accompany a second illustration by the artist.
Original press snipe promoting the artist (Included in the sale)Robert Patterson, American (1898 – 1981)
Education: School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Art Association: Society of Illustrators
Patterson moved through various stylistic requirements with relative ease, a tribute to an impressive roster of teachers: fashion (Pierre Brissaud, Carl Erickson), comedy (Ralph Barton), and dramatic illustration (Harvey Dunn, Walt Louderback). Magazines that displayed his talents included Vogue, McCall’s, Judge, Snappy Stories, Ladies’ Home Journal, Redbook, Woman’s Home Companion, American, Cosmopolitan, and American Weekly.