Schoolitis by Norman Rockwell
October 5, 1916 Issue of Leslie's
Schoolitis, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of Leslie's published October 5, 1916.
An alternate title for this illustration is Boy Sick in Bed.
This was the first cover by Rockwell to appear on Leslie's. Only six Rockwell covers were published by Leslie's. Rockwell only submitted to this smaller magazine after the bigger publishers had rejected the cover illustration.
Rockwell's preference and his first choice of publication was The Saturday Evening Post. He believed, and his career showed, that the cover of the Post was America's biggest showcase window for artists.
Well, the diagnosis is in.
This little boy has contracted Schoolitis. This is a fairly common disease among boys his age. Sometimes even girls get it.
This painting was only one of numerous Norman Rockwell magazine covers;
Here is the complete list of all Norman Rockwell magazine covers.
Some of the more common causes are big tests, bullies, mean teachers and undone homework. Remember, there was no television to watch at home, so a day home meant a day being coddled or worried by Mother. This was a serious disease.
The doctor in this painting was fairly quick with his diagnosis. He quickly checked for symptoms of other diseases. Finding no indication of another disease, the presence of schoolbooks alerted him to the nature of the little boy's malady.
Mother is fretting over the little boy, who is still suffering with this not-so-dreadful disease. The doctor, however, is looking directly at us. And he is winking .
Remember to check back often.
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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