The following examples appeared in Norman Rockwell: 332 magazine covers and are copyright © 1979 by Cross River Press, Ltd., and Copyright © Curtis Publishing Co., where applicable.
Did the introduction to magazine publishing of Playboy in 1953 and its imitators influence Norman Rockwell? Whatever it is was, he had already revealed himself as an illustrator with an appreciation of young women, but the previous examples were painterly and circumspect, in keeping with the Post's editorial policy of conservative correctness. Click on image to enlarge this illustration for a Post cover of 27 August 1960.
Exhibit 1. Pert and perky young woman. Rockwell had done pert and perky before, but she could be described as voluptuous.
Exhibit 2. This is the Old Master himself looking back at the young woman talking to the sailor or surreptitiously checking out the back of another attractive young woman. It's a great inside joke: the self-deprecating humor of a confessed ogler.
I've saved the best for last. Click on the above image to enlarge the sketch for a cover that ran on 17 September 1960.
I don't think anyone could have done better than this. Compared to the slick renderings of sexy women by his contemporaries, this young woman is real. I know, I married someone who could have been her sister.
Next: Howard Pyle (1853-1911) the great Master of American Illustration.