Little Boy Writing Letter by Norman Rockwell
January 17, 1920 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Little Boy Writing Letter, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published January 17, 1920.
An alternate title for this painting is Dear Sweetheart. Another alternate title is Penpals.
This painting was Rockwell's twenty-sixth overall picture featured on the cover of The Post and the first Rockwell cover in 1920. The Post featured a Rockwell illustration on its cover eleven times in 1920.
The original oil on canvas painting, 26 x 23 inches or 66 x 58.5 cm, is part of a private collection.
This illustration has been reproduced in three Rockwell commentary books, as illustration 77 of Norman Rockwell's America by Christopher Finch, as illustration 128 of Norman Rockwell: Artist and Illustrator by Thomas Buechner and on page 82 of Norman Rockwell, A Definitive Catalogue by Laurie Norton Moffatt.
Like all of Rockwell's early Post covers, this one is hard to find in excellent condition. It coommands a hefty price tag when available.
Little Boy Writing Letter
In this painting, Norman Rockwell shows us that love, especially young love, is not afraid or or a stranger to labor.
Anything worth having is worth striving for.
This boy is certainly striving. Just look at the concentration written across his face. Along with the ink spots everywhere!
His desk is an old barrel. His quill appears to be a sharpened stick. He is dipping into an ink well. Not exactly conducive to penmanship.
He has made four attempts to put his feelings on paper so far. We see two crumpled up on the ground. The message on one is visible to us:
That page has been ruined by s big ink spill down its center.
The bottom of another page is visible, hanging off the edge of the barrel:
X X X X X X X
Little Boy Writing Letter 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.
That one, also, has been ruined by ink spots.
His shirt, face and hands all have ink spots. One of the spots on his face actually looks as if he is sweating ink! So it will almost take a miracle to produce one without ink spots.
And yet still he perseveres.
His dog wonders what all the fuss is about. She just wants some of her boy's attention.
(Image Only) Copyright © 1920 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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