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April Fool: Fishing - Norman Rockwell's Errors List

April Fool: Fishing by Norman Rockwell
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March 31, 1945 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post

April Fool: Fishing, a Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published March 31, 1945. This is another favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic enduring image of the world Rockwell painted.

This painting was Rockwell's 228th 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 second cover for The Post in 1945. In 1945, there were ten Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.

The location of the original oil on canvas painting is not known.

This painting also appears in four Rockwell commentary books. It appears:

  • on pages 325 and 346 of Norman Rockwell 332 Magazine Covers by Christopher Finch
  • on page 43 of The Norman Rockwell Album
  • as illustration 409 of Norman Rockwell: Artist and Illustrator by Thomas Buechner and
  • on page 160 of Norman Rockwell, A Definitive Catalogue by Laurie Norton Moffatt.

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.

April Fool: Fishing

Giclee Prints on Archival Paper:
From Art.com

Available as Oil on Canvas:
Oil on Canvas Reproduction

This Norman Rockwell painting is a real treat for both the eyes and the imagination.

In this painting, Norman Rockwell answers his critic with a dose of total inaccuracy, errors and inconsistency.

Here is Norman Rockwell's own list of errors, mistakes and inaccuracies from April Fool's: Fishing from 1945:

  1. Apples fruiting on maple tree
  2. Apples are different colored
  3. Baseball is among apples
  4. Pine boughs on maple tree
  5. Pine cones should point down instead of up
  6. Horse chestnut leaves on maple tree
  7. Grape cluster on maple tree
  8. April 1, 1945 was Sunday, not Monday
  9. Penguin is flying
  10. Halo around fisherman's head
  11. BBird nest on phone
  12. Different colored eggs in nest
  13. Different or wrong colored butterflies
  14. Phone wire is on wrong end of receiver
  15. Books in bookshelf in tree
  16. Castle in background landscape
  17. Lighthouse and ship on dry land
  18. Ear muffs in summer
  19. Fur collar on velvet jacket
  20. Two different designs on shirt fabric
  21. Man is wearing a life jacket
  22. Man has three hands
  23. Shirt is buttoned wrong way
  24. Cigarette and pipe lit at same time
  25. Collar and necktie on bird
  26. Baitcasting rod has flycasting reel
  27. Cloth patches on waders
  28. Rod is upside down
  29. Alligator on root
  30. Cobra emerging from mandolin
  31. Ribbon is on mandolin
  32. Post heading is on wrong side of magazine
  33. Snow scene on right side of picture
  34. Horizone on two backgrounds are different
  35. Horns on mouse head
  36. Animal head on turtle body
  37. Tomato picture on plum can
  38. House slippers worn on skis
  39. Seashells under tree
  40. Dutchman's breeches
  41. Ladies slippers
  42. Buttercup
  43. Thimbleweed
  44. Batchelor buttons
  45. Poison ivey
  46. Norman Rockwell signature is upside down and backwards
  47. Skis have no backs
  48. Lead sinker on line should be below floater
  49. Floater is upside down
  50. Red should be at the tip of the floater in right position

One "error" that you probably spotted is the blue lobster. You are wrong. Such creatures actually exist. Rockwell actually saw one onec in Maine.

How many more "mistakes" can you spot? Feel free to express yourself below.

See the other paintings in the April Fool's series, 1943's April Fool's: Checkers and 1948's April Fool's: Girl With Shopkeeper.

The March 31, 1945 Saturday Evening Post cover by Norman Rockwell entitled April Fool: Fishing

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Norman Rockwell's April Fool: Fishing (1945)
(Image Only) Copyright © 1945 Saturday Evening Post & Curtis Publishing Company

Remember to check back often.

Do You Have A Great Story, Opinion Or Contribution About April Fool: Fishing?

Do you have a personal story about this painting? Do you know the model personally? Do you have a different take on the commentary?

Please share!

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.

More at BrainyQuote.

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Norman Rockwell Christmas and Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving Galleries are open.

Norman Rockwell's painting, A Drum for Tommy or Santa with Drum, appeared on the cover of The Country Gentleman on 12/17/1921
Norman Rockwell Santa Claus
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