London Stagecoach by Norman Rockwell
December 5, 1925 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
London Stagecoach, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published December 5, 1925.
The alternate title for this painting is London Coach.
The location and ownership of the original painting is unknown.
This painting was Rockwell's eighty-second overall picture 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.
This was also the ninth Rockwell cover in 1925. The Post featured a Rockwell illustration on its cover snone times in 1925.
This illustration has been reproduced in three Rockwell commentary books, as illustration 164 of Norman Rockwell: Artist and Illustrator by Thomas Buechner, on page 37 of Norman Rockwell: A Sixty Year Retrospective by Thomas Buechner and on page 102 of Norman Rockwell, A Definitive Catalogue by Laurie Norton Moffatt.
Here is another famous Norman Rockwell Christmas illustration.
This is another Rockwell Christmas painting that begs the question: What is Christnmas about it? After all, people drive and ride on coaches every day of the year, not just Christmas.
Besides the caption "Merrie Christmas" at the bottom of the painting, there are only a few hard clues indicating that this illustration might be about Christmas. Let's examine the evidence, shall we?
Rockwell often provided subtle hints in his work. Not all of his illustrations are as transparent as his April Fool cover illustrations. The viewer really has to dig to see the Christmas references in this painting.
London Stagecoach 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.
First off, we can see that the coach driver has a holly sprig tucked into the band of his hat. The driver is dressed very warmly with heavy leather gloves and box coat, a heavy overcoat including shoulder capes. So the season of year is known. It is certainly winter in this picture.
The boy seated next to the coachman on the box seat is dressed warmly as well with a heavy looking cape over his overcoat. He holds a box in his lap. Is this a present of some sort. It doesn't look like it is wrapped in any way.
No doubt, the boy is on his way either to or from a visit to relatives prior to Christmas. That box in his lap may contain a Christmas present for or from those family members. Or it may just be his lunch. It appears to have a hinged lid on the side facing the horses.
(Image Only) Copyright © 1925 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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