I only discovered J. C. Leyendecker recently, when I was browsing in a book-shop in Soho. I swear, though, it really seems like I have known his work forever; it just fits so perfectly into my folder of influences almost as if I have always been using his works as references. I suppose this is partially because his work is comparable to Norman Rockwell (another artist I love) although he was before Rockwell's time, but I do prefer Leyendecker for the fact his subject matters appeal more to me. That is, pretty people.
It's a bit of a shame that he isn't more well-known, since his illustrations during his time were very popular and he has influenced illustration tremendously. Los Angeles Times even says he "virtually invented the whole idea of modern magazine design".
What I do certainly love most about his work are his very hot men! Haha! So, I am shallow. But I hide this behind the facade of pretentious art snob. Hem hem.
Also, his works (although unnoticed at the time, those innocent people) had subtle layers of homoeroticism, Leyendecker being gay himself. Myself: sold!