Grandfather and Snowman by Norman Rockwell
December 20, 1919 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Grandfather and Snowman, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published December 20, 1919.
Alternate titles for this painting are Gramps Encounters Gramps, Snow Sculpture, and Gramps and the Snowman.
This painting was Rockwell's twenty-fifth overall picture featured on the cover of The Post and the eleventh Rockwell cover in 1919. The Post featured a Rockwell illustration on its cover eleven times in 1919.
The original oil on canvas painting, 24 x 21 inches or 61 x 53 cm, is part of the collection of Newman Galleries.
This painting also appears in three Rockwell commentary books. It appears as illustration 328 of Norman Rockwell's America by Christopher Finch, as illustration 328 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 is difficult to find in almost any condition. Its scarcity causes the price to be very high whenever it is offered.
Grandfather and Snowman
This Norman Rockwell painting is one of everyone's all time favorites. This is one of the paintings that a person thinks of when Rockwell's name is mentioned. So simple, and yet, so timeless.
Gramps is out for a stroll in the snow. He is thoroughly prepared. He carries a basket with food and his umbrella. He is dressed for the cold weather, having donned a heavy topcoat, mittens, scarf and fur hat. Though we cannot see them, he undoubtedly is wearing his snow boots as well.
Gramps is enjoying his trip in the snow. Then he spies an odd-looking fellow. This fellow is all white. Why, it is a snowman named Granpa!
The snowman is not dressed for the cold at all. Then again, snowmen like the cold. He is wearing an old straw hat (we have seen this same straw hat in numerous Rockwell paintings) and a bandanna around his neck.
Someone has carved "GRANPA" in his chest. He also wears glasses and has a goatee. And he is smoking a pipe that isn't quite lit. But, Lordy, I hope Grandfather's ears aren't really THAT big!
Grandfather and Snowman 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.
Gramps looks really tickled to meet Granpa. I'm sure that he would shake hands if Granpa had any.
The little boy hiding behind the snowman is really the star of this painting. Maybe he wasn't sure how Gramps would react to his caricature. The next frame would surely show him jumping out from behind the snowman and yelling "Surprise!"
This snowman has been a lot of fun work for him and now he gets to enjoy Gramps encountering Gramps.
(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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