Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Sick Puppy
signed 'Norman/Rockwell' (lower right)
oil on canvas
20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm.)
Painted in 1923.
Pinch Penny Gallery.
Art Gallery, Studio 53, New York.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1979.
N. Rockwell, The Norman Rockwell Album, Garden City, New York, 1961, p. 15.
T. Buechner, Norman Rockwell: Artist & Illustrator, New York, 1970, no. 179, illustrated.
A.L. Guptill, Norman Rockwell: Illustrator, New York, 1970 ed., p. 160, illustrated.
L.N. Moffatt, Norman Rockwell: A Definitive Catalogue, vol. I, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1986, pp. 92-3, no. C244, illustrated.

Lot Essay

The present work was a cover illustration for the 26 May 1923 issue of Saturday Evening Post.

Perhaps America's best known and most popular artist, Norman Rockwell produced innumerable images of rural America, the most endearing of which are his gently humorous depictions of children. Sick Puppy is a classic example of Rockwell's whimsical portrayal of youthfulness. With his incomparable mastery of technique in the work, Rockwell brilliantly captures the joy of boyhood.

As noted by Laurie Norton Moffatt, "His neighbors were his models, ordinary moments his themes. 'The commonplaces of America are to me the richest subjects in art,' Rockwell wrote in 1936. 'Boys batting flies on vacant lots; little girls playing jacks on the front steps; old men plodding home at twilight, umbrellas in hand--all of these things arouse feeling in me. Commonplace never becomes tiresome. It is we who become tired when we cease to be curious and appreciative." (Norman Rockwell: Pictures of the American People, Atlanta, Georgia, 1999, p. 24)

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