Baker Reading Diet Book by Norman Rockwell
January 3, 1953 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Baker Reading Diet Book, a Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published January 3, 1953. This is yet another timeless favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic for all the ages.
An alternate title for this painting is How to Diet.
This painting was Rockwell's first cover for The Post in 1953. In 1953, there were four Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.
This was also the 275th Rockwell painting overall out of 322 total 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.
I have seen pristine original copies of this magazine cover sell for big bucks on eBay. And to think it only cost fiften cents originally! And it was mint condition then, too.
The location of the original oil on canvas painting is not known.
This painting also appears in three Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
One of the photographs used in conceptualizing the painting is reproduced in Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera by Ron Schick on page 97.
This classic Norman Rockwell painting reveals a pastry chef reading a book about dieting.
Baker Reading Diet Book
Norman Rockwell, always topical with his paintings, depicts a common American concern in this illustration.
This painting was published on the first Saturday after the holiday season. We all know how hard it is to maintain our ideal weight during the holidays.
There are always cakes, pies and other sweet treats to tempt us during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Not to mention, all the cooked meats and their associated rich sauces. It makes me hungry just thinking about it.
It is no wonder people overeat with all this choice during the holidays. This baker obviously is exposed, on a daily basis, to more culinary temptation than most of the rest of us.
And he has decided to take action.
Our pastry chef/baker is boning up on the latest dieting information. The book he is reading is titled How to Diet.
It is probably not that great an idea to be reading the diet book while sitting surrounded by almost any kind of cake imaginable.
He is a man of generous proportions to start with. We do not know how long he has been dieting. We also do not know if that book is his first diet guidance. For all we know, we may be witnessing an ongoing battle of the bulge.
Still one has to admire his dogged determination. He is eating what looks like carrots on a bed of lettuce. The contrast between that plate and the painting background is striking.
And that plate of vegetables is sitting on top of what is probably a cannister of either sugar or flour. He seems oblivious to all the caloric splendor surrounding him.
Baker Reading Diet Book 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.
Norman Rockwell does an excellent job of portraying the bakery shop. He always thoroughly researched his paintings, so you can be sure that this is a true representaion of an actual bakery.
We are treated to seeing many different kinds of cakes in all different sizes, colors and decorations.
We also get to see all the different paraphernalia associated with baking. From beaters to pedestals, it is all there.
Norman Rockwell's Baker Reading Diet Book (1953)
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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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