In his January 1941 address to Congress, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt articulated his vision for a postwar world founded on four basic human freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. In the spring of 1942, Norman Rockwell was working on a piece commissioned by the Ordnance Department of the U.S. Army, a painting of a machine gunner in need of ammunition. Posters of the gunner, titled Let’s Give Him Enough and On Time, were distributed to ordnance plants throughout the country to encourage production. But Rockwell wanted to do more for the war effort and decided he would illustrate Roosevelt’s four freedoms. The Four Freedoms are now part of the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum and reside in their own specially designed gallery space, inviting visitors to reflect on their inspiring message.
The painting is rather somber in that it includes few colors, such as black, white and beige. As a result it has a duotone color scheme. Rockwell makes use of light as well as repetition of faces and hands to bring out an intense message relating to devotion. It dates back to the year 1943 and is considered an artistic representation of the Freedom of Religion. The painting features some people praying and showing their devotion to their respective gods. Inevitably, it was difficult to demonstrate different races and religions through painting, but Rockwell did quite a good job in depicting diversity in this regard.
Rockwell was inspired to do this work by a State of the Union address by President F.D. Roosevelt. The artist painted three other works inspired by the same speech. At the time the work was undertaken, America was involved in World War 2, and the painting is intended to show that despite the difficulties the country was facing, traditional American family values were still highly important.
Norman Rockwell was famous for his works that truly captured the American experience at the time his painting was made. This painting was inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State of the Union Address. The painting shows the concern of the parents is the well-being of their children with the children being symbolic of the future of America. The imagery of the children draws on the notion that a parent will do anything for their child and this translates into freedom of any fear to engage the enemy and win the war.
This main character of the painting is standing in the midst of a meeting of importance to the locality in which he lives and/or works. He is surrounded by older gentlemen, wearing traditional suits and ties, but who are looking at him with a degree of curiosity mixed with consideration for the young man’s oratory. The young man appears to be unfazed by his modest attire in the midst of formality, focusing instead on the subject matter that concerned him to the extent that he felt it necessary to attend this meeting and speak his mind.
The Four Freedoms are now part of the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum and reside in their own specially designed gallery space, inviting visitors to reflect on their inspiring message.
Four freedoms is gladly partnered with families belong together to ensure everyone's human rights are fought for and to bring to the light the injustice and treatment to the people because of a piece of paper that says you're allowed to stay.
Families Belong Together works to permanently end family separation and detention, seek accountability for the harm that’s been done, and immediately reunite all families who remain torn apart. Want to help now?