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Doctor and Doll by Norman Rockwell

Doctor and Doll by Norman Rockwell
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March 29, 1929 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post


Doctor and Doll, a Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published March 29, 1929. This is a timeless favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic for the ages.

This painting was Rockwell's 114th 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.

This painting was Rockwell's fourth cover for The Post in 1929. In 1929, there were twelve Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers published.

I have seen pristine original copies of this cover sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay. And to think it only cost five cents originally!

The original oil on canvas painting, 32 x 26.25 inches or 81 x 66.5 cm, is housed and displayed at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

This illustration has been reproduced in five Rockwell commentary books,

  • on page 39 of The Norman Rockwell Album,
  • as illustrations 177 and 178 of Norman Rockwell: Artist and Illustrator by Thomas Buechner,
  • on page 19 of 50 Norman Rockwell Favorites,
  • on the cover of Norman Rockwell: A Sixty Year Retrospective by Thomas Buechner and
  • on page 114 of Norman Rockwell, A Definitive Catalogue by Laurie Norton Moffatt.

It is also reproduced in The Norman Rockwell Poster Book.




Doctor and Doll

Giclee Prints on Archival Paper:
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Available as Oil on Canvas:
Oil on Canvas Reproduction

This classic Norman Rockwell painting shows an old doctor, apparently a general practitioner, seated in his office, attending a patient from his wooden Windsor chair.

The doctor's current patient, the little girl, is holding another patient, her doll, out for him to examine. She watches intently as her doll's doctor listens attentively to the doll's heart through his stethoscope.

Observe that the little girl comes to his office and stands up before the doctor. This would tell us that she is coming in for a check-up. If she was sick, she would be home in bed and the doctor would pay a house call.

The doctor has his large black bag laying on the rug on the floor. Apparently this was painted when doctors still made house calls to visit patients. In the background we see the old doctor's old-fashioned roll-top desk. Perched on top of his desk are nine thick books, two brass candlesticks, and two pictures.

Rockwell's works often featured paintings inside of paintings. The painting on the left side of the desk appears to represent a group of doctors painted in an entirely different style from Rockwell's. The three characters in the picture look like they are standing on tip-toes and peering over the doctor's shoulder to try to see what the doctor is doing.

Behind the volumes of books, hanging on the wall, is the doctor's "Registration" document, according to its title, in a large wooden frame.

The doctor is well dressed, wearing a dark suit and cravat. His black shoes are highly polished.

With his head craned to the right and upwards, he concentrates on his patient, the doll. He is trying hard not to avoid looking amused.

His other patient, the little girl, is dressed for cold weather. She wears heavy shoes, stockings, wool skirt, jacket, scarf, and matching red beret and mittens.

She has removed her doll's dress to help the doctor to better closely examine her doll. The doll dress is held close to her left side with her elbow.

Dare we guess at his diagnosis?



The March 29, 1929 Saturday Evening Post cover by Norman Rockwell entitled 12551693

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Norman Rockwell's Doctor and Doll (1944)
(Image Only) Copyright © 1919 Saturday Evening Post & Curtis Publishing Company



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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.

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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
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By Keith McDonald
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