"Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim"   Lot no. 4160

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By Jessie Willcox Smith (American- 1863-1935)

27.50" x 19.25"
Oil on Paper Laid Down to Board
Signed Lower Left



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This is an illustration for the book by Samual McChord Crothers, The Children of Dickens, originally published in 1925. Bob Cratchit first appeared in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol as the victimized clerk of cold-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge. Timothy Cratchit, also known as Tiny Tim is Bob's youngest son, whose chronic disease forces him to walk with a crutch. His character is built as the antithesis of Scrooge's and serves as a representative of the impoverished, yet strong-hearted, lower class during the Victorian era. When visited by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Scrooge realizes that he must change his ways and pay Bob Cratchit more generously in order for Tim to survive, later becoming a second father to him.

Jessie Willcox Smith, Dickens's Children, New York, 1912, illustrated on the cover.
Samuel McChord Crothers, The Children of Dickens, New York, 1925, illustrated on the cover and again p. 119.


Read our blog post to learn more about the unique journey of this Willcox Smith masterpiece.

Explore related art collections: Fatherhood / 1920s / $100,000 & Above / Children / Winter / Christmas/ Holiday / Newly Researched / Women Artists / Brandywine School

See all original artwork by Jessie Willcox Smith


            Jessie Wilcox Smith never married, but throughout her long career, specialized in drawing and painting mothers, babies and children. Her training was acquired at the School of Design for Women, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with Thomas Eakins, and at the Drexel Institute under Howard Pyle.

            She had begun as a kindergarten teacher but turned to an art career with the stimulus and assistance of Howard Pyle. Some of her best-known illustrations were for books: Little Women, Heidi, A book of Old Stories and Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses. She also painted a great many illustrations for magazines such as Collier's and McClure's, and did nearly 200 covers for Good Housekeeping. For several years, she shared house and studio with two other Pyle students, Elizabeth Shippen Green and Violet Oakley. Working in close proximity they also strongly influenced eachother's work as well as that of several other Pyle - school women. This relationship is told in The Red Rose Girls by Alice Carter. Smith painted and exhibited widely, revieving many awards, a Silver Metal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. She was also commissioned to paint many portraits of children.

            Two other biographies, Jessie Wilcox Smith by S. Michael Schnessel, and Jessie Wilcox Smith American Illustrator by Edward D. Nudelman (who also contributed A bibliography) have been published.