Lot 46
  • 46

Norman Rockwell

1,500,000 - 2,500,000 USD
4,066,600 USD
bidding is closed


  • Norman Rockwell
  • Boy Playing Flute Surrounded by Animals (Springtime)
  • signed Norman/Rockwell (lower right)
  • oil on canvas laid down on Masonite
  • 30 x 24 inches


Palm Beach Galleries, Palm Beach, Florida
Jack and Bonita Granville Wrather, California, 1970s (acquired from the above)
By descent to the present owner 


The Saturday Evening Post, April 16, 1927, cover illustration (©SEPS licensed by Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved)
Thomas Buechner, Norman Rockwell: Artist & Illustrator, New York, 1970, no. 226, illustrated p. 100
Christopher Finch, Norman Rockwell's America, New York, 1975, illustrated p. 280
Dr. Donald Stoltz and Marshall L. Stoltz, Norman Rockwell and ‘The Saturday Evening Post:' The Later Years, New York, 1976, p. 193, illustrated p. 194
Christopher Finch, Norman Rockwell: 332 Magazine Covers, New York, 1979, pp. 165, 182
Mary Moline, Norman Rockwell Encyclopedia: A Chronological Catalogue of the Artist’s Work, 1910-1978, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1979, illustrated fig. 1-205, p. 48
Laurie Norton Moffatt, Norman Rockwell: Catalogue Raisonné, vol. I, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1986, no. C285, p. 107, illustrated p. 106
Jan Cohn, Covers of ‘The Saturday Evening Post:’ Seventy Years of Outstanding Illustration from America’s Favorite Magazine, New York, 1995, illustrated p. 119
The Saturday Evening Post Special Collector’s Edition, vol. I, no. 1, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2010, illustrated p. 27

Catalogue Note

Throughout the course of his long career, Norman Rockwell developed a significant and unique partnership with The Saturday Evening Post, ultimately executing 321 cover illustrations for the publication over a forty-seven year period. These commissions allowed Rockwell’s distinctive aesthetic to reach millions of American households on a daily basis, which ultimately became integral to the country’s vision of itself, its history and its values.  By presenting his audience with wholesome, humorous and idealistic images of their own lives, Rockwell earned himself a reputation as one of the most celebrated illustrators of the twentieth century. 

Appearing on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post on April 16, 1927, Boy Playing Flute Surrounded by Animals (Springtime) exemplifies the playful spirit that imbues Rockwell’s best and most beloved images. Painted during the early period of the artist’s career, the present work demonstrates the more expressive and painterly manner of execution that characterizes his works from the 1920s and early 1930s, a quality Rockwell left behind as—encouraged by a younger generation of artists and illustrators—he incorporated photography into his technical process. Even without the use of photography, Rockwell’s ability to achieve a near perfect realism is on fully display here through the myriad of rich textures he captures in elements such as the fur of the rabbit and squirrel, the shell of the turtle and the grasshopper’s spindly legs. Ultimately these delightful details all serve to support the artist’s intended narrative, effortlessly conjuring the joyful mood that accompanies the arrival of spring.