Fireman by Norman Rockwell
May 27, 1944 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Fireman, a Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published May 27, 1944. This is another favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic enduring image of the world Rockwell painted.
An alternate title for this painting is No Smoking.
This painting was Rockwell's 221st overall out of 322 total paintings that were published on the cover of the Saturday Evening 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 fourth cover for The Post in 1944. In 1944, there were nine Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.
The original oil on canvas painting, 33 x 26.5 inches or 84 x 67.5 cm, is part of a private collection.
This painting also appears in seven Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
Additionally, one of the photographs taken during the staging of the painting, as well as a full color republishing of the painting appear on page 61 of Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera by Ron Schick
Pristine original copies of this magazine cover routinely sell for big bucks on eBay, when it is offered. And to think it only cost ten cents originally! And it was mint condition then, too.
This is another one of those funny Norman Rockwell paintings.
The device Rockwell used in this painting was not new to Rockwell, nor was this the last time he employed it with good effect.
The idea that a painting of a person might react in the same way that person would react to the same stimulus is really pretty funny.
Here we have a portrait of a famous fire chief. The portrait is hanging over the fireplace.
He (the portrait) is irritated by a cigar that someone has thoughtlessly left on the mantlepiece. The smoke is right in his face.
Fireman 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.
The story behind this painting is that Rockwell found the frame around the fireman's portrait and had to find some way to incorporate it into a painting.
That frame features hoses, axes and other firefighting equipment, all gilded in gold.
Norman Rockwell's Fireman (1944)
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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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