Skip Navigation

The Tattoo Artist

Norman Rockwell

American Art

Norman Rockwell’s naturalistic style, charming characterizations, and easily legible narratives of small-town life made him America’s most beloved illustrator. While his images are generally perceived as straightforward reflections of American life, they frequently demonstrate greater complexity. The Tattoo Artist, for example, subtly alludes to contemporary aesthetics—in particular, modernism’s interest in decorative patterns and the flatness of the picture plane—by suspending the figures in front of a wallpaper-like background of tattoo designs.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1944
DIMENSIONS 43 1/8 x 33 1/8 in. (109.5 x 84.1 cm) Frame: 49 x 39 x 3 in. (124.5 x 99.1 x 7.6 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "Norman / Rockwell"
CREDIT LINE Gift of the artist
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Reproduced on the cover of "The Saturday Evening Post" (March 4, 1944).
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Norman Rockwell (American, 1894–1978). The Tattoo Artist, 1944. Oil on canvas, 43 1/8 x 33 1/8 in. (109.5 x 84.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the artist, 69.8. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 69.8_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 69.8_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RIGHTS STATEMENT © 1944 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved. Ó 1944 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN All rights reserved.
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain. The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email and we will assist if we can.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.
Norman Rockwell (American, 1894–1978). <em>The Tattoo Artist</em>, 1944. Oil on canvas, 43 1/8 x 33 1/8 in. (109.5 x 84.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the artist, 69.8. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 69.8_SL1.jpg)