Piano Tuner by Norman Rockwell
January 11, 1947 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Piano Tuner, a Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published January 11, 1947. This is another favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic enduring image of the world Rockwell painted.
This painting was Rockwell's 244th 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 first cover for The Post in 1947. In 1947, there were seven Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.
The original oil on canvas painting, 33 x 31 inches or 84 x 78.5 cm, is part of a private collection.
This painting also appears in two Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
One study also appears in the Norman Rockwell Catalogue on page 173.
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.
In this painting, Norman Rockwell shows us a piano tuner employing his craft, and, in this particular instance, enjoying a audience.
Rockwell felt that he would get a lot of letters with criticism about the unusual way that the piano tuner was hitting his octave in the painting.
Rockwell always strove for extreme accuracy in even the most minute details in his paintings. He even hired a professional tuner to consult as a technical supervisor for the model's pose in this painting. He was that concerned about detail.
The consultant piano tuner said that professional tuners hit an extreme amount of octaves during the course of one day's work. He explained that many of his colleagues simply learned to play octaves using the thumb and the third finger since the little finger was not strong enough towithstand the repeated stress.
Piano Tuner 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.
Rockwell's attention to detail also shows through with his including of all the tools and gadgets that the tuner would carry with him to a job.
The little boy is probably the beneficiary of all this work. His piano lessons can start soon aftter the tuner completes his task.
Norman Rockwell's Piano Tuner (1947)
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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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