Norman Rockwell, "Barbershop Quartet" charcoal and colored pencil on paper, 1936. Signed lower right, "Norman Rockwell". Inscribed lower center, "N'oubliez jamais 'Le Bon Dieu'" and lower right, "Norman Rockwell / Mead Schaeffer / Fairfax Ayres". Paper: 34.75"H x 25.75"W; Frame: 40.75"H x 31.75"W. PROVENANCE: Study for the cover illustration of "The Saturday Evening Post," September 26, 1936. Collection of Jack Solomon, Jr. (owner of Arts International, Ltd. and Circle Gallery, Ltd., Chicago). Acquired by Private Collector from above, 1974. Sotheby's New York, May 5, 2006, Lot 99. From the Collection of Sam Wyly, Dallas, Texas. LITERATURE: Thomas Buechner, "Norman Rockwell: A Sixty Year Retrospective," New York, 1972, pg. 64. Laurie Norton Moffatt, "Norman Rockwell: A Definitive Catalogue," Stockbridge, 1986, pgs. 134-135, C357a. (illustrated). One completely expects the men pictured in this work to eventually burst into full-blown four-part harmony with their expertly-rendered countenances under constant threat of song. The trio grouped at left have their heads almost touching in places, mouths all incongruously agape and eyes pointed in three different directions while the man under the barber's smock at right unapologetically bears his gaze straight down at the viewer. This wonderfully drawn study for one of Rockwell's most beloved "Saturday Evening Post" covers is compositionally balanced somewhere between the detailed heads and shoes of the men and simple fold and the understated lines of their clothing. Each is artfully armed with a implement of the trade, splayed hands as musical gesture or the latest issue of "Police Gazette". The well-designed compositional tension from the master draftsman is palpable and instantly transports to the expectations of the subject at hand. As evidenced by American's most celebrated illustrator in this magnificent work and again, reminded by the artist's inscription at bottom, "Never forget the Good God." Norman Rockwell: (American, 1894-1978).