Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25 - Maxfield Parrish

Painter and Illustrator Maxfield Parrish was born on July 25, 1870, in Philadelphia. He became the highest-paid commercial artist and muralist in America by the 1920s. After settling in New Hampshire, he illustrated numerous children’s books and collections, including L. Frank Baum's popular Mother Goose in Prose (1897), Eugene Field's Poems of Childhood (1904) and other notable books of the era, now prized by collectors. Through the 1920s he produced illustrations for major advertisers and for Collier’s and Scribner’s magazines. He also profited from his popular posters and mass-market color prints, including “The Garden of Allah” (1919) and “Dawn” (1920). Parrish’s works are instantly recognizable for their androgynous nudes placed in fantastical settings and for dazzlingly luminous colors, which he achieved partly through a technique involving coats of paint layered with varnish. His signature use of cobalt blue is now known as “Parrish blue.” Pictured: the painting “Daybreak” (1922) is the most-reproduced art print of the 20th century.

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