On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, here’s Rockwell’s famous Post cover Rosie the Riveter (1943).  Note the heel of her shoe balanced squarely on the spine of Mein Kampf’s tattered pages.

Rockwell borrowed  his figurative composition from Michelangelo’s Prophet Isaiah on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  Rockwell used an iconic image of Renaissance civilization, enlightenment and balance as the compositional reference for the war effort, symbolized by Rosie and her balancing of a sandwich in one hand and a riveting gun on top of Hitler’s defeat.  The message of the painting is that what was as stake in 1943, and what was worth fighting for, was civilization…civilization in the balance.  Rosie now resides at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville Arkansas:

 Compare Michelangelo’s Isaiah:


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