Santa Claus Holding Little Boy by Norman Rockwell
December 3, 1927 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
This painting by Norman Rockwell, Santa Claus Holding Little Boy, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published December 3, 1927. This remains a timeless favorite of all Rockwell collectors, no matter what their age.
An alternate title is Christmas c. 1927.
This Norman Rockwell Santa Claus painting was the 102nd of 322 total published Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover. 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 tenth of ten of 1927.
This painting also appears in two Rockwell commentary books. It appears as illustration 528 of Norman Rockwell: Artist and Illustrator by Thomas Buechner and on page 109 of Norman Rockwell, A Definitive Catalogue by Laurie Norton Moffatt.
The location of the original oil on canvas painting is unknown.
This painting was Rockwell's fifth picture of Santa Claus featured on the cover of The Post. Rockwell's first Post Christmas cover appeared on December 9, 1916.
This Santa Claus picture continued The Post's long tradition of presenting a Norman Rockwell Christmas painting on its cover.
In fact, when envisioning jolly old Saint Nick, most people see Norman Rockwell's Santa Claus in their mind's eye.
And to think this Norman Rockwell Christmas picture only originally cost five cents the copy!
Santa Claus Holding Little Boy
This illustration features the largest close-up painting that Rockwell painted of the jolly elf.
This is the most personal and endearing of all Rockwell's Santa paintings.
Most of Norman Rockwell's Santa paintings have some humorous angle, a Rockwell trademark.
It is rare to see a Rockwell painting, especially an early magazine cover, without a humor angle. I do not see the humorous side of this painting. If you think I have missed it please let me know.
This painting is all about showing Santa's emotions when comtemplating children. Those emotions are love and wonderment, mixed with adoration. Just look at his eyes.
Santa's eyes tell the whole story of this painting. Rockwell did a masterful work painting those eyes. And his model gave him a beautiful expression to draw from.
Next we are drawn to his smile. His smile conveys absolute joy.
Is he comtemplating what the little boy's fondest wishes are? Or having read the boy's letter to Santa, is he feeling the delight the boy will experience Christmas morning?
Santa Claus Holding Little Boy 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.
The joy of giving far outweighs that of receiving. Just think of what joy Santa must know!
The halo around his head almost seems superfluos when we study the angelic countenance as Rockwell depicted it here. And yet completely fitting.
Merry Christmas and Ho!Ho!Ho!
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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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