"Santa on Train, Saturday Evening Post Cover"   Lot no. 2823

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By Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)

1940 (Estimated)
38.00" x 30.00", Framed 47.00" x 39.00"
Oil on Canvas
Signed Lower Right



Click the image above for an additional view.

Original Cover Illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, December 28, 1940

At the heart of this touching and humorous Christmas work which appeared on the December 28, 1940 cover of THE SATURDAY EVENING POST, is the juxtaposition of the heads of the astonished boy holding a Drysdale package, the Drysdale poster of the store Santa in costume, and the drowsy man wearing the Santa pants and boots under his overcoat, obviously on his way home from work.  Rockwell’s gift as a storyteller in pictures is displayed here at its best.  The simple use of predominantly three colors – red, black and white, and the omission of any extraneous detail, add to the strength of this fine example of illustration art.



Fort Lauderdale Museum of the Arts, Ford Lauderdale, Florida, Norman Rockwell: A Sixty Year Retrospective, February 11- March 5, 1972.

The Booklyn Museum, March- April 1972

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C, May 26, 1972- July 23, 1972

McNay Art Institute, San Antonio, Texas, July 1972- August 1972

M.H De Yound Memorial Museum, Golden State Park, San Francisco, California, Norman Rockwell: A Sixty Year Retrospective, September 9, 1972- September 5, 1972.

Osaka, Japan, Hankyu Department Store, April 4-9, 1975.


The Saturday Evening Post, December 29, 1940, cover illustration.

A.L. Guptill, Norman Rockwell: Illustrator, New York, 1946, p.179, cover illustrated.

T.S. Buechner, Norman Rockwell: Artist and Illustrator, New York, 1970, no. 529, illustrated.

T.S. Buechner, Norman Rockwell: A Sixty Year Retrospective, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1972, p. 78, illustrated.

M. Hart Hennessey and A. Knutson, Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1999, p. 160, illustrated. C. Finch, Norman Rockwell’s America, New York, 1975, p.263, no. 338, illustrated.

N. Rockwell, Rockwell on Rockwell, New York, 1979, p.55, illustrated.

L.N Moffat, Norman Rockwell: A Definitive Catalogue, vol. I, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1986, pp. 146-145, no. C387, illustrated.

J. Kirk, Christmas with Norman Rockwell, North Dighton, Massachusetts, 1990, p.77, illustrated.

K.A. Marling, Norman Rockwell, New York, 1997, pp. 58-59, illustrated.

C. Finch, Norman Rockwell: 332 Magazine Covers, New York, 2013, pp. 223 and 380, illustrated.

Explore related art collections: Magazine Covers / Saturday Evening Post Covers / Children / Christmas/ Holiday / Humor / $100,000 & Above / 1940s / Railroad/Trains / Family

See all original artwork by Norman Rockwell



The pictures of Norman Perceval Rockwell (1894-1978) were recognized and enjoyed by almost everybody in America. The cover of The Saturday Evening Post was his showcase for over forty years, giving him an audience larger than that of any other artist in history. Over the years, he depicted there a unique collection of Americana, a series of vignettes of remarkable warmth and humor. In addition, he painted a great number of pictures for story illustrations, advertising campaigns, posters, calendars and books.

            As his personal contribution during World War II, Rockwell painted the famous “Four Freedoms” posters, symbolizing for millions the war aims as described by President Franklin Roosevelt. One version of his “Freedom of Speech” painting is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

            Rockwell left high school to attend classes at the National Academy of Design, and later studied under Thomas Fogarty and George Bridgeman at the Art Students League in New York. His two greatest influences were the completely opposite titans Howard Pyle and J.C Leyendecker.

            His early illustrations were done for St. Nicholas magazine and other juvenile publications. He sold his first cover painting to the Post in 1916, and ended up doing over 300 more. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson sat for him for portraits, and he painted other world figures, including Nassar of Egypt and Nehru of India.

            An important museum has been established in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where he maintained his studio. Each year, tens of thousands visit the largest collection of his original paintings extant.