Maxfield Parrish – American 1870-1966

Maxfield Parrish (July 25, 1870 – March 30, 1966) was an American painter and illustrator active in the first half of the 20th century. He is known for his distinctive saturated hues and idealized neo-classical imagery. His career spanned fifty years and was wildly successful: his painting Daybreak (1922) is the most popular art print of the 20th century.

Parrish's art is characterized by vibrant colors; the color Parrish blue was named after him. He achieved such luminous color through glazing. This process involves applying alternating bright layers of translucent glaze separated by varnish over a base rendering. Parrish usually used a blue and white monochromatic underpainting.

Parrish's art is characterized by vibrant colors; the color Parrish blue was named after him. He achieved such luminous color through glazing. This process involves applying alternating bright layers of translucent glaze separated by varnish over a base rendering. Parrish usually used a blue and white monochromatic underpainting.

Parrish's works continue to influence pop culture. The cover of the 1985 Bloom County cartoon collection Penguin Dreams and Stranger Things comprises elements of Daybreak, The Garden of Allah, and The Lute Players. The poster for The Princess Bride was inspired by Daybreak. In 2001, Parrish was featured in a US Post Office commemorative stamp series honoring American illustrators, including Parrish.

Parrish developed arthritis. He accepted his last commission in the late 1950s. By 1960 his arthritis prevented him from painting. His last years were spent in a wheelchair. He died on March 30, 1966 in Plainfield, New Hampshire, at the age of 95.

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Worlds of Enchantment: The Art of Maxfield Parrish by Jeff A. Menges – Paperback: 96 pages; Dover Publications (Feb 18, 2010)

Maxfield Parrish enjoyed tremendous popularity throughout the early decades of the twentieth century. Bruce Watson, writing in Smithsonian magazine, deemed Parrish the "comman man's Rembrandt." It's said that during the Depression, a Parrish illustration was displayed on the walls of one out of every four American homes. The artist's romantic, richly colored images of winsome maidens and faraway places continue to appeal to modern audiences.

Selected from hundreds of the artist's images for books, magazines, and calendars, this original collection spotlights Parrish's work from 1897 through the 1920s. Illustrations include art from publications such as Century Magazine, Collier's, and Scribner's. Numerous advertisements include the famed Edison-Mazda Lamp series, along with ads for Jell-O, Ferry's Seeds, and Swift's Premium Ham. A wide selection of book illustrations comprises scenes from The Arabian Nights, Eugene Field's Poems of Childhood, Louise Saunders' The Knave of Hearts, Nathaniel Hawthorne's Tanglewood Tales, and other treasured works

Maxfield Parrish: The Secret Letters by Alma Gilbert – Paperback: 212 pages; Alma Gilbert, Inc (Apr 24, 2013)

This fascinating story is based on 323 previously unknown hand written letters that the artist wrote during the years of 1936 to 1941 to a young, intellectual, and beautiful woman with whom he fell madly in love late in his career. The identity of this lady had not appeared in the Parrish family papers and is disclosed here for the first time ever.

The letters are romantic, poetic, and full of the descriptive beauty of the surrounding area. They depict life as it happened in the Cornish Colony of New Hampshire where Parrish lived and worked. The book is replete with beautiful full color photographs of Parrish’s property, the local landscape, and of the major paintings he completed during this period when he was under the spell of this beautiful young woman.

Maxfield Parrish Poster Book – Paperback: 47 pages; Three Rivers Press; 1st edition (Jun 13, 1974)

Posters suitable for framing from the major periods of an artist known for his luminous colors, nymphlike forms, and the romance, flamboyance, and sensuality of his work. 24 posters in full color.

Maxfield Parrish: And The American Imagists by Laurence S. Cutler, Judy A. G. Cutler – Hardcover: 448 pages' Chartwell Books (Nov 1, 2004)

Maxfield Parrish is remembered as one of the greatest illustrators of the "Golden Age of American Illustration" a period from about 1895 to 1930 of un parrallelled excellence in illustrative art. Parrish's images achieved remarkable popularity and critical acclaim when they appeared on the covers of countless periodicals and books making him the most celebrated illustrator of the first half of the 20th century incredibly famous and immensely wealthy.

Maxfield Parrish: The Masterworks by Alma M. Gilbert – Hardcover: 224 pages; Ten Speed Press; 1st edition (Aug 1, 1992)

Maxfield Parrish: A Book of Postcards – Paperback: 30 pages; Pomegranate (Mar 1, 1995)

The Make-Believe World of Maxfield Parrish and Sue Lewin by Alma Gilbert – Paperback: 96 pages; Ten Speed Press (Sep 1, 1997)

This affordable oversize paperback provides an unusual glimpse into the painter's life, and particularly his relationship with model Sue Lewin, with an unusual interplay of black-and-white photographs and full-color plates, showing how Lewin's simple poses became fully realized fantasies under the brush of the master.

Maxfield Parrish by Coy Ludwig – Hardcover: 224 pages; Schiffer Publishing; 2nd edition (Jan 6, 1997) Best Seller

We are pleased to bring this classic work back into print. A compendium of the life and work of Maxfield Parrish, it is an essential part of a Parrish library. For the collector, the publisher has included a value guide to some of the products that bear Parrish images. Examples of Parrish's most famous book illustrations are shown, including selections from Mother Goose in Prose and the Arabian Nights. Also included are his famous magazine covers-from Life, Collier's, Harper's Weekly, etc., as well as all the landscapes that he painted for Brown and Bigelow, who reproduced them as calendars every year from 1936 to 1963.

One of the highlights of the book is the chapter on Parrish's technique, examining in depth his materials, favorite methods, and unique way of painting. In addition, there is a lengthy excerpt from an unpublished manuscript by Maxfield Parrish, Jr., explaining step-by-step his father's glazing technique and use of photography in his work. This definitive study also contains numerous revealing excerpts from Parrish's unpublished correspondence with family, friends, and clients.

Maxfield Parrish: A Retrospective by Laurence S. Cutler, Judy Goffman Cutler – Hardcover: 164 pages; Pomegranate; 1st edition (Jan 1, 1996)

Maxfield Parrish: The Landscapes by Alma Gilbert – Hardcover: 144 pages; Ten Speed Press; 1st edition (Sep 1, 1998)

In this witty and illuminating book, Parrish expert Alma Gilbert argues persuasively that Parrish’s better-known illustration career was a thirty-five-year detour on his path to achieving his true goal, a dedication to reproducing nature in all its splendor. The 50-plus color plates in this book show how masterfully he achieved that goal, while the text provides fascinating insight into the stories behind these glorious images.

Maxfield Parrish: Master of the Make-Believe by Alma M. Gilbert – Hardcover: 136 pages; Konecky and Konecky; 1st edition (Sep 10, 2007)

Maxfield Parrish, Master of Make-Believe describes the life and popularity of this famous early twentieth-century American artist. The beautifully illustrated catalogue includes all types of Parrish's work, from his sumptuous murals to his fun and lively works based on Mother Goose's fairy tales. The works included come from all over the United States, including those from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where Parrish studied.

The Arabian Nights by Kate Wiggins, Nora A. Smith – Hardcover: 348 pages; Barnes & Noble Books; 7th edition (Jan 1997)

Maxfield Parrish & the Illustrators of the Golden Age by Margaret E. Wagner – Hardcover: 120 pages; Pomegranate; 1st edition (Mar 1, 2000)

128 pages, 70 full color reproductions; 12 black-and-white illustrations, casebound, with dust jacket. Size: 8 3/4 x 11 inches.

Maxfield Parrish by Judy Goffman Cutler, Laurence S. Cutler – Hardcover: 144 pages; Thunder Bay Press; 1st edition (Aug 1, 2001)

Maxfield Parrish has long been considered one of the greatest American illustrators of the 20th century. In the early 1920s, when his works Garden of Allah and Daybreak were reproduced as art prints, he quickly became one of the best known artists in America with his art images appearing on posters, calendars, magazine covers, and book illustrations. His unmistakable paintings, characterized by "Parrish Blue" water and skies, luminescent rocks and hills, and exquisite young women in flowing classical robes, are infused with a romantic Eden-like quality so entrancing that reproductions are as enthusiastically received today as the prints were when they first appeared.

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