Christmas Homecoming by Norman Rockwell
December 25, 1948 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Norman Rockwell's Christmas Homecoming appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published December 25, 1948.
The original oil on canvas painting, 35.5 x 33.5 inches or 90 x 85 cm, is currently part of the collection of the Norman Rockwell Museum of Stockbridge Massachusetts.
This painting was Rockwell's 257th overall of 322 total pictures featured on the cover of The 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 seventh Rockwell cover in 1948. The Post featured a Rockwell illustration on its cover seven times in 1948.
This painting also appears in two Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
The original cover list price was still just fifteen cents.
Here is another famous Norman Rockwell Christmas illustration.
The painting could actually almost be called Rockwell Family Homecoming, because the whole family appears in the painting.
This painting shows Rockwell's son Jarvis, or Jerry as he was called by the family, coming home from college for Christmas holiday.
Jarvis is being given a great big motherly hug by his mother, Mary Barstow Rockwell.
On the next row back in the crowd of spectators, on the left, is Rockwell's son, Thomas, or Tommy. On the far left side of the painting, wearing glasses is Peter Rockwell, Norman and Mary's youngest son.
Of course, to the right of Jarvis, smoking his trademark pipe tobacco, is the artist himself, Norman Rockwell.
In the upper left corner is fellow Post illustrator and good friend of Rockwell, Mead Schaeffer. In front of Schaeffer is Grandma Moses.
The redhead behind Peter is Mead Schaeffer's daughter, Patty. The blonde between Jarvis and Norman is Schaeffer's other daughter, Lee. Both daughters appear together in another painting, Willie Gillis: Girls with Letters from 1942. Patty also appeared as Willie Gillis's girlfriend in 1944 in Willie Gillis: New Year's Eve.
Christmas Homecoming 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 girl smiling and waving directly behind Mary is Mary Atherton, the daughter of another illustrator friend of Rockwell's Jack Atherton.
In the back right corner, we can catch a glimpse of the Rockwell's Christmas tree.
The theme of reuniting with family and friends during the holidays is a familiar one to almost everybody.Certianly seeing loved ones that have been missed is the best Christmas present one can receive.
(Image Only) Copyright © 1948 Saturday Evening Post & Curtis Publishing Company
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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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