Is He Coming by Norman Rockwell
December 16, 1920 Issue of Life Magazine
Is He Coming, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of Life Magazine published December 16, 1920.
This painting, a perennial collector favorite, was purchased on eBay.
This painting has been reprinted on other magazine covers. It is also a top-selling Christmas print.
This was the twenty-second cover by Rockwell to appear on Life Magazine. A Rockwell painting appeared six times on Life magazine's cover in 1920 and twenty-eight times in all.
Christmas Eve Through a Parent's Eyes
The story in this wonderful illustration is adorable. We see this picture through the eyes of a parent on Christmas Eve Night.
The little girl in the foreground seems to be asking the question "Is he coming?" to her parent. Dressed in her nightgown and slippers, with her candle holder in hand, she stops by the brick fireplace before bed to ask the question.
Here is the complete list of all Norman Rockwell magazine covers.
Her little brother, dressed in his pajamas and bedroom slippers, can be seen in the background. He is daringly attempting to peer up the chimney, even though the fire is still burning.
Norman Rockwell included all the Christmas trimmings. We see the Christmas tree on the left, evergreen trimming on the mantlepiece above the fireplace and stockings hung by the chimney. We assume they were hung "with care!"
My favorite part of this painting is the cat. Lying on the hearth, soaking up the warmth of the fire, he is looking up very matter-of-factly at the little girl. It's almost as if he were thinking, "What is the fuss about? Whoever 'He' is, he had better not disturb my nap!"
Of course, the "He" of "Is He Coming?" is Santa Claus, Old Saint Nick or Kris Kringle, depending on your preference. "He" comes once a year on Christmas Eve Night.
Santa is obviously coming to this house. When is he coming? Well, everybody knows that Santa doesn't arrive until after the house is asleep, even the mouse!
Naughty or Nice?
We have all heard the age old question: Do you believe in Santa Claus?
See Them All!
The Music Master
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 Santa Claus
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