Original of a Coke ad

Illustrated by Haddon Sundblom



* Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

  • Nathan Marciniak 5y

    Such rough strokes, and yet each one is perfect and creates such detail and immaculate lighting. I know the answers: natural talent, years of formal training, constant practice...and yet I cannot help but ask, "Gah! How the hell did he DO THAT!?" And then the realization that this final awesome result, (if not this one, then others like it), may possibly be some committeed-to-death piece of over-revised crap the artist themselves may detest. *sigh* It's all so wonderful and strange.
  • Leif Peng 5y

    Great comment, Nathan! I understand your sentiment exactly. You can take this much into consideration: Sundblom was of a different generation of commercial artists. He may have experienced the frustration of client meddling many times, but because he did not consider himself an artiste he would not have minded to the degree many of us do today. He would have taken it in stride, as any business person does.

    The blow would have been further softened by the outrageous fees illustrators (in general, but one of Sundblom's calibre in particular) received. At a time when the average middle class income might have been 1 or 2 hundred dollars per week, Sundblom would have received several thousand dollars for this piece, which he could very likely paint in one day.

    Finally, Sundblom trained dozens of talented apprentices to paint in this style. Many, like Gil Elvgren, went on to their own spectacular careers. If this job did come back for revisions due to client meddling, Sunny, as he was known, would have simply passed it to any one of several competent assistants and had them deal with the changes.
  • Roadsidepictures 4y

    Hey, Leif! Do you know if Sundblom did the artwork for this tray?

    Thirst Knows No Season
  • Leif Peng 4y

    I couldn't say for sure, Roadside. My gut says its not Sundblom... it looks tighter than his work usually looks, imo. It could be - but I'm guessing it was done by someone in his studio.
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Taken on December 7, 2010
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