Happiness as Portrayed by the Artists (Part 3)

In my two previous posts I presented the works of Eakins and Degas.  Both of these two artists presented individuals that have attained happiness.  The artworks depict masters of their respective occupations who have achieved Maslow’s self-actualization level, Csikszentmihalyi’s unity with universal values, and Campbell’s ability to cross between the spiritual and everyday worlds with contaminating the one with the other.

In both artworks, the main character appears suspended, distant from the others but still present in the scene.  In fact, none of the other characters in the scenes are looking directly at the main characters; again, reinforcing the separateness of the main characters from the everyday world.

Below is a third representation of this depiction of individual happiness by another great artist.



Freedom from Want (Rockwell, 1943)

Freedom From Want Painting by Rockwell


Attention is now on the isolated grandparents, who as a couple, accepted the call to adventure and sacrificed through hard work and dedication for the successful upbringing of their family. Their journey’s accomplishment is illustrated by their humble gestures (grandmother cooked for all the others to enjoy) and the successful gratification of their offspring’s physiological and safety needs – most assuredly the grandparents’ quest.  

Just as in the two paintings mentioned in the previous posts, the characters seated at the table in this painting are not looking at the two main characters standing.  The two grandparents are almost hovering above the table, isolated from the conversations of those seated at the table.


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