Man Reading Thermometer by Norman Rockwell
January 17, 1920 Issue of The Literary Digest
Man Reading Thermometer, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Literary Digest published January 17, 1920.
The alternate title for this work is Fifteen Below Zero.
This illustration was Rockwell's thirteenth picture featured on the cover of The Literary Digest.
The Digest featured Rockwell artwork on the cover nine times total in 1920 alone.
This painting also appears in two Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
The original oil on canvas painting, 22 x 18.5 inches or 56 x 47 cm, is part of a private collection.
Man Reading Thermometer
Available as Oil on Canvas:
Oil on Canvas Reproduction
This painting makes me feel cold in the winter and cool in the summer!
Judging by the snowflakes, the wind is blowing fiercely. The snowflakes are blowing across the canvas diagonally. Rockwell paints snowflakes falling by removing paint from the canvas. This technique makes the snowflakes odd shapes with soft edges.
The old man in the picture seems chilly as well. His cheeks and nose are becoming visibly flushed. The steam of his breath is clearly visible. His hair, his goatee, even his eyebrows are being windblown.
He is looking at the thermometer over his reading glasses. He has one hand on the doorknob to keep the door from being blown open by the fierce wind. With his other hand, he clutches his tobacco pipe.
He has been sitting by the fire reading and smoking his pipe. He has decided to check the outside temperature. His look of surprise shows that he didn't realize how cold it was.
It was fifteen below zero during the day!
Man Reading Thermometer was only one of 47 Norman Rockwell Literary Digest covers; here is the list of more Norman Rockwell Literary Digest scans.
Here is the complete list of all Norman Rockwell magazine covers.
The snow has collected on the top of the thermometer, the outside doorknob and in the corners of the door panels.
Since Norman Rockwell painted topical themes, we can assume from this painting that the winter of 1920 was a very cold one.
(Image Only) Copyright © 1920 The Literay Digest and Funk & Wagnalls Company
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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?
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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