Of all the portrayals of the modern St Nicholas — Santa Claus ("a right jolly old elf") — this is my favorite, from the cover of St. Nicholas magazine, December, 1916:
Kevin DeYoung on the real St. Nicholas.
The magazine itself:
St. Nicholas Magazine (1873-1941) was a successful American children's magazine, published by Scribner's beginning in November 1873, and designed for children five to eighteen. ....Scans of St. Nicholas magazine up through 1923 can be found here.
From the outset St. Nicholas Magazine published work of the best contemporary illustrators: Charles Dana Gibson, Arthur Rackham and Howard Pyle, all contributed to St. Nicholas and later, Ellis Parker Butler, Norman Rockwell and Livingston Hopkins.
"The best-known children's authors and illustrators contributed to St. Nicholas,", according to a 2002 review on children's literature. Many children's classics were first serialized in St. Nicholas Magazine. Its first runaway hit was with "Little Lord Fauntleroy". Louisa May Alcott's Jo's Boys was serialized in the magazine, and Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. ....
For a time I owned some bound collections of St. Nicholas from the 19th century that had been discarded from the Milton College Library.