The Original Photograph Reference For Norman Rockwell's 'The Runaway' 1958 (Colorized)
Rockwell Would Famously Use His Own Photography For His Paintings
At first glance, you may think you are looking at one of Norman Rockwell’s most famous paintings, “The Runaway,” but look again. This image is actually a colorized version of the original black and white photograph that served as the inspiration for Rockwell’s work.
Rockwell's beloved work is both nostalgic and a celebration of an era gone by when children could walk the streets without fear, even a "runaway" wouldn't have to worry about going too far without guidance from a few helpful citizens. This photo sums up Rockwell's personal brand of Americana so well. The black and white version of this photo is just that, a photo. Looking at it in color does more than show us a reference shot. It takes us back to a simpler time.
In fact, did you know that Rockwell was an accomplished photographer? Photography played a key part in his artistic process. Rockwell’s paintings, many of which graced the cover of The Saturday Evening Post, were like a snapshot of American life. But as we will learn, Rockwell carefully staged the photograph of “The Runaway” and his other works that became treasured American favorites.