A Visual History of Santa Claus

Santa Claus hasn’t always been the jolly, red-suited, rotund, grandfatherly gift-giver with a reindeer-drawn sleigh we all know and love. Depictions of Santa have evolved over time, influenced by stories and legends about St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas and Father Christmas, and perpetuated by centuries of gift cards, stories, advertisements, posters, and movies. Here’s a look at how art has reflected the changing face (and waistline) of Santa over time.