Merrie Christmas: Robust Man With Whip by Norman Rockwell
December 7, 1929 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Merrie Christmas: Robust Man With Whip, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published December 7, 1929.
The location of the original painting is unknown.
This painting was Rockwell's 122nd overall of 322 pictures featured on the cover of The Post and the eleventh Rockwell cover in 1929. The Post featured a Rockwell illustration on its cover nine times in 1929.
This painting also appears in three Rockwell commentary books. It appears:
The original cover price for the magazine was just five cents.
Merrie Christmas: Robust Man With Whip
Here is another famous Norman Rockwell Christmas illustration.
This robustman is actually very familiar to Rockwell afficianados. He has appeared in many Rockwell paintings.
This same man, wearing the same outfit, is none other than the coach driver from the Christmas painting, London Stagecoach.
Rockwell used this same man as his model in many paintings of this time period.
In this painting, we can better see the coach driver's clothing. In London Stagecoach, the entire painting was bathed in a reddish hue since the coach was heading into the sunrise.
Now we can see just how spledid his outfit looks. The hue of blue in his top coat is reminescient of another famous illustrator's signature color.
Rockwell's vintage clothing collection was as legendary as his eye for detail. This painting provides ample evidence of just how broad that collection was. Unfortunately his vintage clothing collection was destroyed along with many now priceless original paintings when his studio burned down in 1943.
Merrie Christmas: Robust Man With Whip 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.
But back to the overcoat; 17 buttons are visible. It must take quite a while to button them all, but that would certainly provide quite a barrier to the wind and cold while driving the stagecoach. Also it would make a barrier if the lash accidentally missed its mark.
One of the brass buttons is missing near the bottom. Hopefully that makes no difference to its weather resistance.
The only real indication that this painting is about Christmas, besides the red and green in his scarf, is the holly sprig tucked into the band of his hat. And of course, the caption at the bottom, Merrrie Christmas, is a big clue also.
(Image Only) Copyright © 1929 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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