J.C. Leyendecker Art Book Review

Posted By yonghow on January 16th, 2014

J.C. Leyendecker (1874-1951) was one of the most influential American artists of the early 20th century, and his illustrations were instrumental in shaping the look and style of modern magazine design. This book (288 pages) contains an extensive collection of his art work, including poster, book and advertising illustrations, over 600 pieces in total.

After studying drawing and anatomy at the Chicago Art Institute, Leyendecker spent a year at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he was introduced to the art work of Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha, whose work influenced his own, in particular Mucha’s elaborate floral arabesques and his stylish composition and poses for the human subject matter.

Leyendecker’s own work would eventually be of influence to another important American illustrator some 20 years later – the great Norman Rockwell.

Leyendecker’s artistic clout can still be felt today – the character designs and visual style of the hugely popular Valve game Team Fortress 2 was also directly influenced and inspired by Leyendecker’s illustrations.

A great primer for one of the most preeminent American illustrators, this beautiful hard cover volume excels in both quantity and quality – a wide spectrum of the artist’s work is covered, and the reproductions are crisp and clean. Highly recommended.

“J.C. Leyendecker Art Book” details :

- Dimensions – 1 x 10 x 11.3 inches
- Hardcover, 288 pages
- Full color

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4 Responses to “J.C. Leyendecker Art Book Review”


Here you go again man….making me aware of artbooks I’d never heard of and now I wanna go out and buy it!!

I never knew this artist’s name, but his work is familiar. I can definitely see both the influence from Mucha and also the influence on Rockwell.

But for me the familiarity comes from a certain piece. When I was a kid one of my favorite comic book covers was Blackhawk number 3 by Howard Chaykin. There was something so elegant about it…clearly from another time.

Check it out…does it look familiar?



i’ve always admired his style and technique, but he’s never really piqued my interest beyond that due to his subject matters. i find his actual images to be a little upper-classist, and his kind of overtly chivalrous, almost christian-themed characterization of America never really sat too well with me.


absolutely. Chaykin has always taken an approach to his work that borders on plagiarism. for shit’s sake, just look at his signature. that one might be a little too overt to not be an intentional homage, but you can usually find quite a lot of that in his work, even today.


Josh – Glad my blog is doing its job. :P I wasn’t aware of Leyendecker’s work until a couple of years back.

Zack – I guess I’ve been looking as his work purely from an aesthetic point of view. I do very much like his work on the period pieces (2nd image & 2nd last image) on Gismonda.

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