Santa On Train by Norman Rockwell
December 28, 1940 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
This painting by Norman Rockwell, Santa On Train, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published December 28, 1940. This remains a timeless favorite of all Rockwell collectors, no matter what their age.
Alternate titles for this painting are Off Duty Santa and See Him at Drysdales.
This Norman Rockwell Santa Claus painting was the 198th overall of 322 total published Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers. 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 Post cover of 1940.
The original oil on canvas painting, 38 x 30 inches or 96.5 x 76 cm, is housed in a private collection.
This Off Duty Santa Claus picture continued The Post's long tradition of presenting a Norman Rockwell Christmas painting on its cover.
And to think it only cost five cents! It sells for way more than that today.
This Norman Rockwell painting has also been reproduced in four Norman Rockwell books. It has been re-published in:
Santa On Train or Off Duty Santa
Giclee Prints on Archival Paper:
Even Santa needs a break sometimes.
This painting answers the question in every child's mind. Does he drive the sleigh everywhere he goes. Well, the answer is apparently "no."
In this painting, Santa is riding home on the train. He looks to be dozing and is unaware of the surprised boy peeking around the corner.
The boy has every reason to be surprised.
Santa does not look the same as last time.
Actually, this Santa may not have been exactly the fellow that the boy saw earlier in the day. But he wears the same suit.
You see, the sign next to the dozing off-duty Santa says "See Him at Drysdale's." The little boy's two packages have the Drysdale's logo on the wrappers.
So the boy has seen Santa earlier in the day.
I'm sure he was not expecting to see a beardless Santa Claus on his train ride home.
I wonder how the boy's parents explained this sighting to him. My parents always told me that the real Santa did not work in stores, appear in parades or show himself at all before Christmas Eve. And he was extremely hard to see then!
Santa On Train 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.
As for why Santa is on the train? Well, apparently, today is the reindeer's day off.
At least, there is still some uncertainty left with this painting, unlike with The Discovery.
(Image Only) Copyright © 1940 Saturday Evening Post & Curtis Publishing Company
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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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