Boy Asleep with Hoe by Norman Rockwell
September 6, 1919 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Boy Asleep with Hoe, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published September 6, 1919.
This painting was Rockwell's twenty-second overall picture out of 322 total Rockwell paintings featured on the cover of The Post.
It was also the eighth Rockwell cover in 1919. The Post featured a Rockwell illustration on its cover eleven times in 1919.
The location of the original oil on canvas painting is unknown.
This painting has been reproduced in two Rockwell commentary books, as illustration 118 of Norman Rockwell: Artist and Illustrator by Thomas Buechner and on page 80 of Norman Rockwell, A Definitive Catalogue by Laurie Norton Moffatt.
I have seen copies of the rare original published cover in pristine condition sell for big bucks on eBay. And it only cost a nickel when it was newly purchased.
Boy Asleep with Hoe
Here Norman Rockwell shows us what happens when motivation lapses.
This young man has been left alone when he is supposed to be working in the garden. He is probably just taking a break. At least that was his intention when he sat down. "Just for a minute," I can almost hear him thinking.
Well, the minute has long passed. The heat of the day (notice the sweat rolling down the side of his face) has taken its toll on this boy.
We do not know in whose garden he is supposed to handling that hoe. It may be his grandparents, his parents or even his own.
He is no doubt dressed for work. His pants are cut-off and ragged to boot.
Boy Asleep with Hoe was only one of 322 Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers; Here is the list of Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover illustrations.
Here is the complete list of all Norman Rockwell magazine covers.
His straw hat lays on the ground at his feet. No need for a hat under a shade tree. The straw hat is a Rockwell trademark.
Another Rockwell trademark, a bandaged big toe, also appears in this painting.
Even his little dog has joined him. There's nothing like a nap in the shade on a hot summer's day.
(Image Only) Copyright © 1919 Saturday Evening Post & Curtis Publishing 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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