No one is immune from criticism. Not even the great masters of the art world like Michelangelo and Norman Rockwell – they’re humans just like the rest of us. Here’s  a closer look at lauded works of genius created by artists far, far more talented than we are.



7| Norman Rockwell Gives a Man An Extra Feature

Norman Rockwell gives the man on the far left a third leg

People who know absolutely nothing about art can usually spot a Normal Rockwell painting from a mile away (it helps that they hang in the waiting rooms of dentists all around the globe). Rockwell was a machine; he created over 4,000 paintings, most in that distinctive, heartwarming style of old-timey Americans doing wholesome things.


His work for The Saturday Evening Post is a prime example of this. Every two weeks the man had to paint a new cover that, you know, perfectly captured the American spirit for that moment even better than the last issue. His classic People Reading Stock Exchange, featuring four people leaning over posted stock quotes, was one such cover. The only one, perhaps, featuring a grotesque deformity.



The Screw-Up

The man in the red shirt has three legs. Two with their knees locked, an apparent third with the knee bent so that he can rest his hand on it as you can clearly see in this closeup.

This was a source of particular embarrassment for Rockwell, who only noticed years later that he had, “…sort of put three legs on the boy.” As for how this mysterious third legs comes off within the context of the painting, Rockwell biographer Richard Halpern described the addition as “an inexplicable phallic supplement.”




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