Cellist and Little Girl Dancing by Norman Rockwell
February 3, 1923 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Cellist and Little Girl Dancing, a Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published February 3, 1923. This is another of Rockwell's timeless classic Americana paintings.
The official title for this illustration is Cellist and Little Girl Dancing, but I have also heard it referred to as Grandpa's Little Ballerina, so that is why I named this article with the more popular alternate title. Other alternate titles for this painting include Little Spooners, First Love and Sunset.
This painting was Rockwell's first cover for The Post in 1923. In 1923, there were nine Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.
This was also Rockwell's 54th cover illustration out of 322 Rockwell painted for the Post. Rockwell's career painting covers for the Post spanned 47 years, starting with his first cover illustration, Boy With Baby Carriage in 1916 to his last, Portrait of John F. Kennedy, in 1963.
The location of the original oil on canvas painting, measuring 28 x 24 inches or 71.12 x 61 cm, is unknown.
This painting also appears in Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
I have seen pristine original copies of this magazine cover sell for well over one hundred dollars on eBay. And to think it only cost "5c THE COPY" originally! And it was mint condition then, too.
Cellist and Little Girl Dancing
In this painting, the cellist Grandfather, modeled by Pop Fredericks, is playing the cello for a little girl, presumably his granddaughter.
We do not know what tune he is playing, but apparently this little girl likes his playing and the tune enough to dance to it.
The dance does not look like ballet, so the title Grandpa's Little Ballerina may not be entirely fitting.
The cello, or more properly violoncello, is a four stringed instrument played by dragging a bow acress the strings. Pizzicato is the method of playing by plucking the strings. Grandpa is playing in the traditional method using right hand technique. He may pluck out the next song if his audience remains enraptured.
The little girl's pose and dance are cute, She is holding her dress like she has seen the ladies do when they are dancing. Of course, they are trying to keep their dresses out of the way and her dress is really not long enough for that to be necessary. Her dress will be long enough one day and it's best to practice and be ready.
Cellist and Little Girl Dancing was only one of 322 Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers; Here is the list of Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover illustrations.
Here is the complete list of all Norman Rockwell magazine covers.
(Image Only) Copyright © 1923 Saturday Evening Post & Curtis Publishing Company
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Do you have a personal story about this painting? Do you know the model personally? Do you have a different take on the commentary?
Norman Rockwell Quotes:
I'll never have enough time to paint all the pictures I'd like to.
No man with a conscience can just bat out illustrations. He's got to put all his talent and feeling into them!
Some people have been kind enough to call me a fine artist. I've always called myself an illustrator. I'm not sure what the difference is. All I know is that whatever type of work I do, I try to give it my very best. Art has been my life.
Right from the beginning, I always strived to capture everything I saw as completely as possible.
The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they're always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back.
I can take a lot of pats on the back. I love it when I get admiring letters from people. And, of course, I'd love it if the critics would notice me, too.
You must first spend some time getting your model to relax. Then you'll get a natural expression.
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