Christmas Homecoming, 1948
Charcoal and pencil on paper
36 x 33¾ inches
Signed and inscribed lower left
The present work is a preliminary study for Norman Rockwell’s painting Christmas Homecoming, which appeared on the cover of the December 25, 1948 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. The image is the only one in the artist’s oeuvre in which all five members of his immediate family appear and are portrayed as themselves. Rockwell’s wife, Mary, embraces their eldest son, Jarvis, as he arrives home for the holidays with Christmas presents in hand. In the background right the artist appears with a pipe while the middle son Tom (in a plaid shirt) and the youngest son Peter (wearing glasses at the far left) look on excitedly. Grandma Moses, the artist, and Mead Schaeffer, the illustrator, are also rendered alongside neighbors and friends. One of Rockwell’s favorite models, Sharon O’Neil, appears twice as a set of twins in the foreground.