Monday, August 11, 2014

The Art of Kay Nielsen

Kay Nielsen was one of the most celebrated illustrators in the early 20th century. His works flourished during this "golden age of illustration" and were centered around mostly fairly tales. A few examples of his work in novels are: East of the Sun and West the Moon, In Powder and Crinoline , Fairy Tales by Hans Andersen, Hansel and Gretel, and Other Stories by the Brothers Grimm , and the Twelve Dancing Princesses. However, Nielsen was a very accomplished landscape artist and muralist leading him to also create scenery stage sets for the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, where his mother previously worked as an actress. In addition, Nielsen worked with the Walt Disney Company for four years creating concept art that lead to the further development of many Disney films. In the movie Fantasia his work was used in the scenes "Ave Maria" and "Night on the Bare Mountain." Sadly, Kay Nielsen died a very poor man and his work was left in the shadows till many years later when he became known as a celebrated artist. I love Mr. Nielsen's work. His style stands out from anything I've ever seen. Nielsen's work is very colorful, whimsical, and detailed. Using patterns and shape combinations in very unique ways to portray people, clothes, objects, and textures. My personal favorite is the scene below and the rest of his work from The Twelve Dancing Princesses.
I hope you enjoyed the fraction of Kay Nielsen's work I was able to display. I hope to display more in the future, but I highly recommend researching his work for more.