Circus Strong Man
Norman Rockwells second Saturday Evening Post cover appeared just 2 weeks after his first. He had sold both the first and second cover to the Post for $75.00 each, which was a huge amount of money in that time. Before working with The Saturday Evening Post, Rockwells monthly wages as "art director" and illustrator for Boys' Life magazine was $50.00 per month. In this picture Norman Rockwell manages to make the view feel as though they are part of the "scene", as if they were a participant, and not merely an observer.
Eugene Sandow, the "Strong Man", was a German turn of the century, physical culturist who appeared at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Billy Paine, the boy who poses for Sandow, was one of Rockwell's favorites. Billy Paine died at age 13 from doing a stunt in a second story window. Norman Rockwell used him in 15 Post covers and said "He was the best kid model I ever used".
The use of live models was difficult, especially in children and animals. Holding a pose was difficult enough, but trying to keep an expression was near impossible. Norman Rockwell sometimes resorted to giving feline models a smell of ether to create the appearence of an enduring lethargy.