The Gossips by Norman Rockwell
March 6, 1948 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
The Gossips, a Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published March 6, 1948. This is another favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic enduring image of the world Rockwell painted.
An alternate title is Chain of Gossip.
This painting was Rockwell's 252nd 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 1948. In 1948, there were seven 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:
Several studies also appear in The Norman Rockwell Catalogue on pages 176, 177 and 178.
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.
In this painting, Norman Rockwell shows us how a stray bit of gossip can come back to haunt the person who starts it, as well as the person who it is told on.
The story starts in the upper left hand corner with this lady telling a bit of gossip about Rovkwell. The gossip was not true.
The fourteenth time the gossip is told, it falls on the ears of the person who knows it is false.
In the fifteenth scene in the painting, Norman Rockwell confronts the lady who started the gossip in the first scene.
You can see the anger with which Rockwell confronts her. He is seething before he speaks to her and lets that ire out on her.
You can also almost hear the woman exclaim "Oh, my!"
The Gossips 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.
This story actually happened, though we do not know exactly how many ears and mouths the rumor passed through before it got back to Rockwell.
After this picture appeared on the cover of the Post, the woman who started the gossip not only never spoke to Rockwell again, she actually moved away.
The lady in the middle row, both the second and third face from the left, is portrayed by Mary Rockwell, the artist's second wife and mother of his children. And, of course, the artist himself, Rockwell is on the bottom row, the second and third faces from the right.
Does anyone know the names of any of the other models?
Norman Rockwell's The Gossips (1948)
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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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