Thomas Nast Early "Santa Claus" Illustration
Thomas Nast is perhaps most famous for creating the popular image of Santa Claus. Throughout his career, Nast created many illustrations of Santa, but here, for your consideration, is one of his earliest images of Santa.
The illustration is titled, "Christmas 1863" with banners reading "The Furlough" and "Christmas Morning". The image is a leaf from the original 1863 Christmas edition of Harper's Weekly.
This illustration is classic Nast. It has a number of captivating inset images. On the left is an image of a little children, sound asleep in bed. Then we see Santa coming from the fireplace, with a bag of gifts on his shoulder. This image represents the original presentation of Santa as we know him today.
The center image shows a Civil War Soldier, on furlough, coming home for Christmas. The family is ecstatic, and is celebrating his return with Hugs and Kisses. To the right, the Children can be seen opening their presents. Stockings can be seen hanging on the fireplace.
This is a heartwarming image, and one that brings back memories of Christmas's past.