The Funny Mirror by Norman Rockwell
August 13, 1921 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
The Funny Mirror, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published August 13, 1921.
An alternate title for this painting is Distortion.
This painting was Rockwell's forty-first overall picture out of 322 total featured on the cover of The Post. Rockwell's career with the Post spanned 47 years, from his first cover illustration, Boy With Baby Carriage in 1916 to his last, Portrait of John F. Kennedy, in 1963.
It is also the fifth Rockwell cover in 1921. The Post featured a Rockwell illustration on its cover seven times in 1921.
The location of the original painting is not known.
This illustration has been reproduced in two Rockwell commentary books, as illustration 143 of Norman Rockwell: Artist and Illustrator by Thomas Buechner and on page 86 of Norman Rockwell, A Definitive Catalogue by Laurie Norton Moffatt.
This cover is extremely hard to find in excellent condition. In addition, almost every copy I have even seen has had the mailing label affixed over part of the illustration. Expect to pay more for a pristine copy of this Rockwell classic.
The Funny Mirror
Wow, that is one funny-looking boy in that mirror!
In this painting, Norman Rockwell shows us another joy of childhood, the carnival.
This boy is wandering through the Fun House. He rounds a corner and sees himself in this mirror.
The image of himself with a different body shape is hilarious. And he is obviously emjoying the view.
His legs and lower torso are longer. His head and upper torso are more compressed. He looks much taller.
He has dropped the stick his balloon is tied to.
The Funny Mirror 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.
He holds a sucker in his left hand. It looks big in the mirror. I wonder if it is bigger or smaller in the mirror. You know how big carnival suckers are.
Just imagine how hard it must have been for Rockwell to get that reflection in the mirror just right. This painting was conceived and painted long before he started using phootographs to capture the characters and scenes he wanted to paint.
After this painting, Rockwell stuck to using regular mirrors in his illustrations!
(Image Only) Copyright © 1921 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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