J.C. Leyendecker cover illustration for American Weekly

Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Cover illustration for American Weekly, December 19, 1948; J.C. Leyendecker

Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Cover illustration for American Weekly, December 19, 1948; J.C. Leyendecker (details)

Cover illustration for American Weekly, December 19, 1948; J.C. Leyendecker

Link is to Heritage Auctions sold lots. Accessing the full high-res image requires a free account, but there is a somewhat smaller version on Tumblr here.

At first I thought that this was Leyendecker’s take on the popular song, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, but the illustration was published in 1948, and the song was apparently first recorded and released in 1952.

Whether the magazine cover influenced the writing of the song is difficult to say, but it seems to me a likely scenario.

This feels like it was quickly realized by the standard of many of Leyendecker’s other illustrations, but is still shows his superb draftsmanship, and characteristic stylized fabric folds and rendering of hair.

 
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2 Replies to “J.C. Leyendecker cover illustration for American Weekly

  1. Upon first seeing it here I thought it might have been done early in his career or his characteristic style development due to the simplification as you noted. Looking him up he was 74 when this was done. I guess that would explain the slimmed down treatment.
    Still love all his illustrations. Nothing like a Leyendecker.

  2. In my opinion… Chuck Jones and Tex Avery and the animators of the time had been influencing art for 30 years.

    This is very “cartoony” almost Chuck Jonesy.

    Its still a Leyendecker, but he’s clearly having fun with it.

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