Tail End of a Dive by Norman Rockwell
August 1915 Issue of Boys' Life
Tail End of a Dive, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of Boys' Life published August 1915.
An alternate title for this painting is Half a Boy. This event marked Rockwell's eleventh cover publication for Boys' Life.
Long before the Boy Scouts magazine published this painting on its cover, readers had become familiar with him through his article and story illustrations and also other cover illustrations.
Rockwell had been hired as the art director of Boys' Life in 1913. By 1915, young 18-year-old Rockwell was very comfortable and confident in his position.
Boys' Life was still a fairly new publication at this time. The first issue was just published in 1911. However, both Boy Scouts and Boys' Life had become firmly established in American culture by 1915. Both would become American cultural icons.
And Rockwell was well on his way to achieving icon status as well.
Tail End of a Dive
This painting is signed Norman P. Rockwell in the lower right hand corner. Rockwell painted this illustration before he stopped signing his middle initial. His middle name was Percival and he was not fond of it.
This painting was only one of 55 Norman Rockwell Boys' Life covers; here is the list of more Norman Rockwell Boys' Life covers, advertisements and story illustrations.
Here is the complete list of all Norman Rockwell magazine covers.
Tail End of a Dive is one of the first covers Rockwell painted that actually looks like a Rockwell. That is, it looks like some of the covers that we usually identify with Rockwell.
The previous covers in this series for Boys' Life were all fine paintings. However, they did not show the perspective and polish that we have all come to expect from Rockwell.
This cover hints at the greatness that was to issue forth from the brush and canvas of America'a favorite illustrator. The detail, the subtle use of light and the almost three dimensional quality of the illustration - all are suggestive of the best of his later and more popular works.
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