April Fool: Girl with Shopkeeper by Norman Rockwell
April 3, 1948 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
April Fool: Girl with Shopkeeper, a Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published April 3, 1948. This is another favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic enduring image of the world Rockwell painted.
An alternate title is April Fool 1948.
This painting was Rockwell's 253rd 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 third cover for The Post in 1948. In 1948, there were seven Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.
The original oil on canvas painting is part of a private collection.
This painting also appears in three Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
Pristine original copies of this magazine cover routinely sell for big bucks on eBay, when it is offered. And to think it only cost fifteen cents originally! And it was mint condition then, too.
April Fool: Girl with Shopkeeper
In this painting, Norman Rockwell answers his critic with a dose of total inaccuracy.
Without fail, whenever a Rockwell painted cover appeared on The Saturday Evening Post, letters would come forth from the public decrying this or that error in the painting.
Apparently this irritated Norman Rockwell. He meticulously researched and arranged his compositions to reflect total accuracy in all known elements of his paintings.
Well, the April Fool series of paintings (this was the third and final installation) was his tongue-in-cheek answer to those critics and detractors.
He purposely inorporated incongruities into all these paintings.
April Fool: Girl with Shopkeeper 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.
How many "mistakes" can you spot?
Click here for Rockwell's own list of errors from the 1948 April Fool's painting Girl With Shopkeeper.
Norman Rockwell's April Fool: Girl with Shopkeeper (1948)
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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