Thursday, March 17, 2016

boys being boys

The Runaway, by Norman Rockwell

The Saturday Evening Post, September 20, 1958
pencil on paper, 32 x 28 in. Collection of George Lucas
Rockwell’s famous painting The Runaway depicts a child literally on a pedestal–well, barstool–surrounded by a protective and understanding community.
Normally a scene featuring a runaway child evokes anxiety. Instead, Rockwell’s painting radiates comfort and safety in the form of a triangle of protection surrounding the boy. To the left is the fatherly state-police officer, at the top is the counterman, and to the right is an empty coffee cup, suggesting another good Samaritan had been sitting there not long ago. Perhaps the anonymous diner made the initial call to police and then stayed with the boy until the officer’s arrival. The complete narrative depicts a cocoon-like community taking shifts to watch over a child in trouble.
In the painting, Rockwell portrayed an idyllic version of small-town America. In his sweet, safe universe, no child is ever in danger and no task is more pressing for an officer of the law than to spend a morning with a young runaway. After appearing on the September 20, 1958, cover of the Post, The Runaway began to grace the walls of countless diners and police stations throughout the country. (The Saturday Evening Post, Aug. 2014)

Proud Possessor, by Norman Rockwell

The American Magazine, May 1940
charcoal on paper, 35 x 28 in. Collection of George Lucas

Proud Possessor is a story about the love of a boy named Kiah for two puppies that his mother forbids him to keep. He strikes a deal with his friend Pomp. Pomp will care for the dogs, but exacts a prized pocketknife as payment. Rockwell illustrates the moment when Kiah, on the right, agrees to surrender his pride for the love of his animals...

Boy on High Dive, by Norman Rockwell

Saturday Evening Post cover, August 16, 1947
oil on canvas, 35 x 27 in. Collection of Steven Spielberg

Rockwell's youngest son, Peter, modeled as the boy for this famous illustration. This is another favorite of Rockwell collectors, a classic enduring image of the world Rockwell painted. Carrying his easel to the balcony of his studio, Rockwell cranked it as high as it would go and hoisted Peter onto a plank hanging over the two-story space to capture the real life sense of fright on the boy's face. The original painting is owned by director Steven Spielberg, where it hangs in his office at Amblin Entertainment.


joseph said...

le petit gamin sur la chaise, c'est moi oui j'avais dix ans en 58

another country said...

A mon avis, le garçon n'a pas plus de cinq ans.

Bon, tout ceci ne nous rajeunit guère...

joseph said...

je doute car l'école buissonnière à cet âge - quoique je fuguai de l'école gardienne à quatre ans- et puis grimper sur un tabouret dans un un baluchon aussi bien fermé et un porté de bâton...mais ce N R , quel talent !