Merrie Christmas: Man with Christmas Goose by Norman Rockwell
December 10, 1932 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Merrie Christmas: Man with Christmas Goose, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published December 10, 1932.
The alternate title for this painting is just Christmas Goose.
This painting was Rockwell's 142nd of 322 overall pictures featured on the cover of The Post. Rockwell's career with the Post spanned 47 years, from his first cover illustration, Boy With Baby Carriage in 1916 to his last, Portrait of John F. Kennedy, in 1963.
This was also the third Rockwell cover in 1932. The Post featured a Rockwell illustration on its cover three times in 1932.
This painting also appears in three Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
The location of the original oil on canvas painting is unknown.
The original cover price was still just five cents.
Merrie Christmas: Man with Christmas Goose
Here is another famous Norman Rockwell Christmas illustration.
This is another of the many paintings Norman Rockwell created based on the stories of Charles Dickens.
Especially early in his career, Rockwell painted a lot of paintings showing a vintage and fictional theme.
Items from Rockwell's extensive collection of period and vintage clothing and costumes are featured in this illustration.
Of course, the jolly expression on the man's face overshadows the age and beauty of his vintage overcoat.
Rockwell was very passionate about painting expressive faces. He considered having interesting and expressive facial features to be one of the top considerations for his models.
At this point in time, Rockwell had not even begun experimenting with using photographs in his painting method. So the ability and willingness to maintain a pose motionlessly was also a top consideration for a model.
Here we see a man leaving his home to go and visit his family on Christmas day. The only indication that this is a Christmas painting is the holly sprigs in his hat and on his baskets. Of course, there is always the caption at the bottom, "Merrie Christmas."
We know he is leaving because we can see the stoop behind him.
Merrie Christmas: Man with Christmas Goose 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.
It is a shame that the card attached to the right basket is illegible. If we could read it, that would be another common name for the painting.
Each basket sports, in addition to the holly sprigs, a goose and a bottle of wine each. It also appears that each basket carries apples as well. He brings something for the children as well as for the adults.
With those two big baskets full almost to overbrimming, he is prepared for a real Christmas feast.
He is all bundled up against the cold. Let's hope he doesn't have far to go. After all, it is Christmas.
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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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