Boy on Stilts by Norman Rockwell
October 4, 1919 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Boy on Stilts, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published October 4, 1919.
This painting was Rockwell's twenty-fourth overall picture out of 322 total featured on the cover of The Post.
It was also the tenth Rockwell cover in 1919. The Post featured a Rockwell illustration on its cover eleven times in 1919.
The original oil on canvas painting, 25 x 20 inches or 63.5 x 51 cm, is part of the collection of Studio 53.
This painting has been reproduced in two Rockwell commentary books, as illustration 120 of Norman Rockwell: Artist and Illustrator by Thomas Buechner and on page 81 of Norman Rockwell, A Definitive Catalogue by Laurie Norton Moffatt.
This cover rarely shows up in excellent condition. Consequently, I have seen copies of the original published cover in great condition sell for big bucks on eBay. And it only cost a nickel when it was newly purchased.
Boy on Stilts
In this painting, Norman Rockwell depicts one of his favorite themes.
A recurring topic in Rockwell's paintings, especially his early work, is children in humorous situations.
The child this time is a boy. This boy is trying to walk on home-made stilts.
The stilts look homemade.
Rockwell's penchant for funny scenes would seem to dictate that the boy made the stilts himself. No doubt his father could have made them sturdier, but it's funnier if his plight is his own doing.
The stilts are perfectly serviceable, but they look unwieldy.
The boy has even lost his straw hat.
Boy on Stilts 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.
To make matters worse for the boy, his dog is running around in circles. The dog is trailing the rope on his collar around the makeshift stilts.
The boy is soon to fall.
Will he climb back on? The smart money says "yes".
But he will retrieve his hat first!
(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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