A Tribute from France by Norman Rockwell
August 10, 1918 Issue of Judge
A Tribute from France, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of Judge published August 10, 1918.
The alternate title for this painting is Soldier and Little French Girl.
This was the sixth cover by Rockwell to appear on Judge and the fourth of four in 1918. Only six Rockwell covers were published by Judge, from 1917 to 1918. Rockwell only submitted to this and other smaller magazines after the publishers of the more popular magazines had declined to publish the cover illustration.
Rockwell's clear first choice of publication was The Saturday Evening Post. He believed, and his career affirmed, that the Post cover was America's biggest showcase window for artists.
This painting also appeared on the cover of the sheet music Over Yonder Where the Lilies Grow. Click the link for the words and cover.
It also appeared on a postcard advertisement sold for the benefit of Fatherless Children of France,Inc. I would provide a scan of the postcard also, but the asking price for the postcard was $49.95 US plus postage. That was a bit steep.
A Tribute from France
Here we see another painting depicting a scene from the end of World War I. This scene happens in France, as opposed to Belgium like so many other Rockwell illustrations from the same era.
This painting was only one of numerous Norman Rockwell magazine covers;
Here is the complete list of all Norman Rockwell magazine covers.
This American soldier's uniform looks well-worn. The uniform has ragged sleeves with holes visible throughout the shirt. The trousers, spats and boots appear to be in pretty good condition. The helmet looks unscathed as well.
In addition to all the regular soldier gear, this soldier has somehow nabbed a fine souvenir of his time in France. He is taking home a German spiked helmet or Pickelhaube. We do not know the whole story of how he came to possess this helmet. The two extremes: He killed a German soldier or he found it abandoned by its previous owner.
Rockwell is, however, focusing on a more pleasant topic. The war is ending. The soldier is going home. And the little French girl is wishing him a fond good-bye. She has picked a flower and is putting it in one his button holes.
The soldier is apparently taking the puppy home with him as well. Is the puppy a gift, a purchase or spoils of war? No matter, since the puppy looks happy to become an American dog .
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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?
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