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Home > Artist > Maxfield Parrish
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Maxfield Parrish

Born 1870——Died 1966
American Artist
Biography

Maxfield Parrish: (July 25, 1870 - March 30, 1966) was an American painter and illustrator.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he began drawing for his own amusement as a child. His given name was Frederick Parrish but he later adopted the maiden name of his paternal grandmother, Maxfield, as his middle name, and later as his professional name. His father was an engraver and landscape artist, and young Parrish's parents encouraged his talent. He attended Haverford College and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He entered into an artistic career that lasted for more than half a century, and which helped shape the Golden Age of illustration and the future of American visual arts.

Launched by a commission to illustrate L. Frank Baum's Mother Goose in Prose in 1897, his repertoire included many prestigious projects including Eugene Field's Poems of Childhood (1904) (see illustration) and such traditional works as Arabian Nights (1909). Books illustrated by Parrish are highly sought-after collectors items.

He had numerous commissions from popular magazines in the 1910s and 1920s including Hearst's, Colliers, and Life. He was also a favorite of advertisers, including Wanamaker's, Edison-Mazda Lamps, Fisk Tires, Colgate and Oneida Cutlery. In the 1920s, Parrish turned away from illustration and concentrated on painting for its own sake. Androgynous nudes in fantastical settings were a recurring theme. He continued in this vein for several years, living comfortably off the royalties brought in by the production of posters and calendars featuring his works. An early favorite model was Kitty Owen in the 1920's. Later another favorite, Susan Lewin, posed for many works, and was employed in the Parrish household for many years. Parrish himself posed for many images that featured male &ndash and occasionally female &ndash figures (see Potpourri, 1905).

In 1931, he declared to the Associated Press, "I'm done with girls on rocks", and opted instead to focus on landscapes. Though never as popular as his earlier works, he profited from them. He would often build models of the landscapes he wished to paint, using various lighting setups before deciding on a preferred view, which he would photograph as a basis for the painting (see for example, The Millpond). He lived near Cornish, New Hampshire and painted until he was 91 years old.

Parrish's art features dazzlingly luminous colors; the color Parrish blue was named in acknowledgement. He achieved the results by means of a technique called glazing where bright layers of oil color separated by varnish are applied alternately over a base rendering (Parrish usually used a blue and white monochromatic underpainting).

Parrish's work defies categorization since he was part of no traditional movement or school, and developed an original and individual style. However, his work has been highly influential. Among recent homages was the 1995 music video, You Are Not Alone, featuring Michael Jackson and his then wife Lisa Marie Presley, in which they appear semi-nude in emulation of Parrish's most famous work, Daybreak 1922.

The Irish musician Enya has also been inspired by the works of Parrish. For example, the cover art of her 1995 album, The Memory of Trees, is based on his painting Black Isles [1]. She has also used his inspiration in a number of her music videos as well.

The Elton John Album "Caribou (Album)" has a Maxfield Parrish background.

In 2001, Parrish was featured in a U.S. Post Office commemorative stamp series honoring American illustrators, including Rockwell Kent, Norman Rockwell, Frederic Remington, and 16 others.

 

Art Work
A Good Mixer, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM417
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
A Good Mixer
Original Size:
35.56 x 25.40cm
Original Medium: Illustration
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
A Strong-Based Promontory, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM418
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
A Strong-Based Promontory
Original Size:
17.78 x 17.15cm
Original Medium: Lithograph
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
A Venetian Night's Entertainment, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM419
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
A Venetian Night's Entertainment
Original Size:
cm
Original Medium: oil on paper
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Afterglow, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM420
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
Afterglow
Original Size:
34.29 x 38.10cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Agib in the Enchanted Palace, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM421
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
Agib in the Enchanted Palace
Original Size:
45.7 x 40.6cm
Original Medium: Glazed oil on paper
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Ah, never in this world were there such roses, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM422
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
Ah, never in this world were there such roses
Original Size:
40.64 x 35.56cm
Original Medium: oil on stretched paper
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Air castles, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM423
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
Air castles
Original Size:
73.66 x 50.80cm
Original Medium: cover
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Alarums and Excursions, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM424
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
Alarums and Excursions
Original Size:
27.94 x 17.78cm
Original Medium: pen and ink
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Arizona, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM425
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
Arizona
Original Size:
52.07 x 43.18cm
Original Medium: oil on board
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Arizona, first version, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM426
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
Arizona, first version
Original Size:
cm
Original Medium: Oil on masonite
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Cadmus Sowing the Dragon's Teeth, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM427
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
Cadmus Sowing the Dragon's Teeth
Original Size:
cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas laid down on board
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Cinderella, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM428
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
Cinderella
Original Size:
36 x 25cm
Original Medium: Lithograph
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Cobble Hill, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM429
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
Cobble Hill
Original Size:
29.21 x 33.02cm
Original Medium: Oil on panel
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Contentment, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM430
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
Contentment
Original Size:
cm
Original Medium: oil on masonite
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Cowboys Hot Springs Arizona, reproduction of Maxfield Parrish
Art work details
Item Number:
WHM431
Original Artist:
Maxfield Parrish
Original Name:
Cowboys Hot Springs Arizona
Original Size:
43.18 x 36.2cm
Original Medium: Oil on cardboard
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
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