logo for best-norman-rockwell-art.com

Norman Rockwell's Santa and Expense Book

Norman Rockwell Santa with Expense Book 1920
Buy it from Art.com - Click to Buy
   

Norman Rockwell Signature


December 4, 1920 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post


This painting by Norman Rockwell, Santa and Expense Book, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published December 4, 1920.

An alternate title is Santa's Children. This is a perennial favorite of Rockwell collectors of all ages.

This painting was Rockwell's first picture of Santa Claus featured on the cover of The Post. Rockwell's first Post Christmas cover appeared on December 9, 1916.

The original oil on canvas, 22 x 20 inches or 56 x 51 cm, resides in a private collection.

This illustration has been reproduced in four Rockwell commentary books:

  • as llustration 329 of Norman Rockwell's America by Christopher Finch,
  • as illustration 136 of Norman Rockwell: Artist and Illustrator by Thomas Buechner,
  • on page 23 of Norman Rockwell: A Sixty Year Retrospective by Thomas Buechner
  • and on page 85 of Norman Rockwell, A Definitive Catalogue by Laurie Norton Moffatt.

This Santa Claus picture continued The Post's long tradition of presenting a Norman Rockwell Christmas painting on its cover.

In fact, when thinking of Santa Claus, most people envision him the way Norman Rockwell painted him.

And what a bargain at only five cents!




Naughty or Nice? Santa Knows!

Giclee Prints on Archival Paper:
From Art.com


Available as Oil on Canvas:
Oil on Canvas Reproduction

Of course, we presume that this illustration is a real time portrayal of Santa Claus. It is three weeks before Christmas. Santa is checking his list.

The good boys and girls would be expenses because they would be getting toys and treats for Christmas.

The bad boys and girls would also be expenses because lumps of coal and switches, while cheaper than toys, are not free!

Now it's crunch time for getting on the "good" list.

Rockwell nicely conveys his message that children are always in Santa's thoughts. Even while he is balancing his ledger, Santa Claus is still envisioning children's smiling faces and thinking about making them happy.

Or is the background actually portraying Santa daydreaming while he finishes his bookkeeping? Could imagining children's smiles be how Santa unwinds?

Thankfully, Norman Rockwell didn't answer these questions, so the interpretation is still up to the viewer.

Santa Claus's Bookmark

12/4/1920 Saturday Evening Post Norman Rockwell cover Santa's Bookmark

One of the many intricate and thought-provoking details in this painting is Santa's bookmark.

Notice the monogram, SC, on the bookmark.

Also notice the crease about one third of the way down, where it hangs over the edge of the book.

And, of course, Christmas Red and Green are also Santa's favorite colors.

Attention to detail has always been a Norman Rockwell trademark.


Norman Rockwell Santa and Expense Book

Buy it from Art.com - Click to Buy

Norman Rockwell's Santa and Expense Book (1920)
(Image Only) Copyright © 1920 Saturday Evening Post & Curtis Publishing Company

See Them All!
Take the Rockwell Saturday Evening Post Cover Tour

  Grandfather Frightened by Jack-O-Lantern from the October 23, 1920 Saturday Evening Post cover
Previous Cover
Grandfather Frightened by Jack-O-Lantern
Boy Reading Pirate Stories from the January 29, 1921 Saturday Evening Post cover
Next Cover
Boy Reading Pirate Stories
 


Remember to check back often.

Do You Have A Great Story, Opinion Or Contribution About This Painting?

Do you have a personal story about this painting? Do you know the model personally? Do you have a different take on the commentary?

Please share!

Enter A Title For Your Story

Read What Other Commenters Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

"Santa and Expense Book" Not rated yet
I just puchased a 2ft by 1ft approximately, it's an exact ceramic replica of the pictured "Santa & Expense Book" I just noticed it is marked in right …

Click here to write your own.


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.

More at BrainyQuote.

Rockwell Favorites

Doctor and the Doll
Buy it from Art.com - Click to Buy
Doctor and the Doll
Santa at His Desk
Buy it from Art.com - Click to Buy
Santa at His Desk
Before the Shot
Buy it from Art.com - Click to Buy
Before the Shot
Game Called Because of Rain
Buy it from Art.com - Click to Buy
Game Called Because of Rain (Three Umpires)
Freedom of Speech
Buy it from Art.com - Click to Buy
Freedom of Speech
Freedom from Want
Buy it from Art.com - Click to Buy
Freedom from Want
No Swimming
Buy it from Art.com - Click to Buy
No Swimming
The Runaway
Buy it from Art.com - Click to Buy
The Runaway
Girl at the Mirror
Buy it from Art.com - Click to Buy
Girl at the Mirror
Tattoo Artist
Buy it from Art.com - Click to Buy
Tattoo Artist
Puppy Love
Buy it from Art.com - Click to Buy
Puppy Love
(Little Spooners)

Norman Rockwell Christmas and Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving Galleries are open.

Norman Rockwell's painting, A Drum for Tommy or Santa with Drum, appeared on the cover of The Country Gentleman on 12/17/1921
Norman Rockwell Santa Claus
Gallery is open!







By Keith McDonald
Copyright © Best Norman Rockwell Art.com.
Images are copytighted by their respective copyright holders.
Graphic Files Protected by Digimarc.
Contact us for details about using our articles on your website.
The only requirements are an acknowledgement and a link.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Best Norman Rockwell Art Home Page
My Business "Secret Weapon"
Donate | About | Contact | FAQ | Share | Search | Survey | Wanted
Sitemap | Sitemap, 2 | Sitemap, 3 | Sitemap, 4 | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer