Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978) Portrait of Chief Petty Officer LeRoy Evans, 1918, oil on board, 11-1/8 x 7-5/8 inches, signed lower right recto "Norman / Rockwell", in a period carved wood frame, 15 x 12 x 2 inches. During WWI, LeRoy Evans served in the Navy with Rockwell in Charleston, South Carolina. When Evans first met Rockwell, the artist was reputed to be a house painter, and was digging postholes. Evans mentioned to Rockwell that it must be rough work on the hands of a painter. Rockwell corrected Evans, explaining that he was an illustrator, and agreed it was indeed rough on his hands. A compassionate superior, Evans reassigned the young artist to a job in the camouflage department in the last days of 1917. In gratitude, Rockwell painted Evans’ portrait. Evans never saw Rockwell again, but his family eventually contacted the artist. This painting will be sold with Rockwell’s letter to Evans’ descendants dated March 16, 1971 on his stationery in which he recollects painting the portrait. In addition to being reproduced in Moffatt’s catalogue raisonné (P33, page 977), the Portrait of Chief Petty Officer LeRoy Evans is mentioned in Rockwell’s autobiography, My Adventures as an Illustrator.