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Freedom of Worship
Artist Norman Rockwell
Year 1943
Type oil on canvas
Dimensions 116.8 cm × 90 cm (46 in × 35.5 in)
Location Norman Rockwell Museum,
Stockbridge, Massachusetts
United States

Freedom to Worship or Freedom of Worship is one of Four Freedoms paintings by Norman Rockwell that were inspired by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the State of the Union Address, known as Four Freedoms, he delivered to the 77th United States Congress on January 6, 1941.[1] The other paintings in this series were,

  1. Freedom of Speech
  2. Freedom from Fear
  3. Freedom from Want

Freedom to Worship was published in the February 27, 1943 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post with a matching essay by Will Durant as part of the Four Freedoms series.[2] Rockwell felt that this and Freedom of Speech were the most successful of the set. Early versions of this painting involved a group of patrons at a barbershop of varying religions and races. The problem was painting easily recognizable depictions of different religions and races because there was little agreement on what a person of certain religions should look like.[3] The image is commonly enhanced and often darkened in reproduction because it uses a color combination of soft greys, beiges and browns. In addition, the paint was applied thinly, which allows the weave of the canvas to contribute to the image.[3]

Critical review

Critical review of this painting describes disappointment of the universality of the Freedom of Religion, which is disconcerting to practitioners of particular faiths.[4] Others attack the scale of the picture that only shows heads and hands in prayer as disruptive.[3]


  1. ^ "100 Documents That Shaped America:President Franklin Roosevelt's Annual Message (Four Freedoms) to Congress (1941)". U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, L.P.. Retrieved 2008-04-11.  
  2. ^ "Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms: Images That Inspire a Nation"., Inc.. 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-11.  
  3. ^ a b c Hennessey, Maureen Hart and Anne Knutson (1999). "The Four Freedoms". Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. with High Museum of Art and Norman Rockwell Museum. pp. 94–102. ISBN 0-8109-6392-2.  
  4. ^ "I Like To Please People". Time magazine. Time Inc.. 1943-06-21.,9171,766759,00.html. Retrieved 2008-04-07.  


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