Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit by Norman Rockwell
December 15, 1934 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published December 15, 1934.
The alternate title for this painting is God Bless Us Everyone.
This painting was Rockwell's 155th 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 seventh Rockwell cover in 1934. The Post featured a Rockwell illustration on its cover seven times in 1934.
This painting also appears in three Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
The original oil on canvas painting, 55 x 31 inches or 140 x 79 cm, is currently part of a private collection.
Even though original copies of this cover routinely sell for high prices, the original cover price was only five cents.
You can own a beautiful oil on canvas reproduction for a fraction of the cost of the original painting: Click here.
Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit
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. Rockwell's roots with Dickens run deep. His father, Waring Rockwell, used to read Dickens to young Norman as entertainment. Remember there was no television when Rockwell was a boy.
Young Norman would sketch characters from the Charles Dickens stories while listening to his father read the books.
This particular picture had probably been bubbling in Rockwell's brain since he was just a boy. No doubt, he was very excited and relieved to finally express it on canvas.
"God Bless Us Everyone" is also the epitome of a happy ending. The Ghost of Christmas Future showed Ebeneezer Scrooge a grim future without Tiny Tim unless he intervened in the life of Bob Cratchit. Scrooge took the Cratchit family under his wing, and Tiny Tim received needed medical treatments with Scrooge's financial help.
We all know the story and its moral. Rockwell helps us visualize the scene.
Early in his career, Rockwell painted a lot of illustrations featuring such a vintage and fictional theme.
This painting also features items from Rockwell's extensive collection of period and vintage clothing and costumes.
Both characters are clad in outdoor winter garb and are bundled up against the cold.
Bob Cratchit's clothing looks very realistic. His waistcoat is even missing a button. His top hat looks somewhat scuffed. And you can see ragged edges to his cape if you look closely.
Though his trousers look thin and patched up, we can see Cratchit's long underwear (they weren't called thermal in those days) poking out from under his trousers around his ankles.
Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit 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.
And what a colorful vintage scarf!
The things that catch my eye about Tiny Tim are the evidence of his disability. One of his legs is supported bt a brace that is visible on his right leg. And he hold his vintage cane aloft in his left hand. This may be from happiness or the Christmas spirit. Or he may just be trying to stay balanced while riding on his father's shoulder.
At this point in time, Rockwell had not started using photographs as part of his painting method. Can you imagine how tired the model for Bob Cratchit must have been after a modeling session for this painting?
Rockwell's trademark holly sprigs on Tim's shoulder and Bob's lapel and top hat tell us that the season is Christmas, even if we didn't know the story.
Remember to check back often.
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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