Art: Kay NeilsenKay pronounced "kigh" Nielsen is considered one of a triumvirate of classic "great " illustrators from the golden age of illustration and gift book design during the first quarter of the 20th century. Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac were the other stars. Yes, I know that there were dozens of others plying their trade in the same market, W. Heath Robinson not the least of them. Arthur Rackham born in looked to the work of the romantic school of art for inspiration. So did the early efforts of Dulac born
Beloved Enchanter 2013
The Dark, Enchanted Worlds of Illustrator Kay Nielsen
Just as communications dominate the 21st century, the growth of various means of printed communication greatly influenced s Britain. In particular the growth of the popular illustrated press, the use of ambitious advertising methods, the rise of the poster as art form, the illustrated literary magazine, followed by the more mainstream colour illustrated gift book. All of these, nurtured by new printing technologies, helped to propagate a new aesthetic as well as establish the careers of many of the artist-illustrators. The British middle classes were hungry for novelty and sophistication and, however ephemeral or unusual the productions, they had the money to sustain them. When the illustrator Aubrey Beardsley edited the Yellow Book, the short-lived scandalous literary magazine, the initial print run of 7, copies quickly sold out. A major figure in the publishing world of the s was the enterprising publisher John Lane of the Bodley Head. He eventually held the undisputed position as the man who made decadence pay.
One of the latest devices was the printing machine so it is not unusual that many artists instantly embraced the new technology. One of the leading and most productive artists at that time when it comes to illustration was Kay Nielsen. This figure stood out for his astonishing interpretations of classic fairy tales ever to appear in print. As a young boy, he was very impressed by the performing arts which reasonably reflected on his career. Shortly after his studies, Nielsen gained instant recognition as an artist and theater designer with illustrations exhibited and sold to collectors in London and New York. During the last stage of his career, he was employed as an art director for Disney on the landmark animation film Fantasia and released several public art commissions.
I actually chose to go with Kay Nielsen this time because of a comment you ended up making last February when I first came to the university, ha! Instead I was given some lovely feedback from you, Carol, Ben, Shane and Pascal, something that really helped build me up at a time where I was struggling with a lot of things all at once, and doubting that it was worth trying to pick up drawing again after losing touch with it in high school. You ended up telling me that a couple of pieces reminded you of Nielsen, and I ended up diving into his body of work afterwards, delighted to find such an interesting style that at the time, was absolutely alien to me. Diving back into his catalogue as a student is a funny feeling, but a nice one to be sure! His work with patterns, ornament and texture create this beautiful and nearly alien depiction of human beauty. IDES , Uncategorized. January 27, at pm.
Kay Rasmus Nielsen March 12, — June 21, was a Danish illustrator who was popular in the early 20th century, the "golden age of illustration" which lasted from when Daniel Vierge and other pioneers developed printing technology to the point that drawings and paintings could be reproduced with reasonable facility. Nielsen is also known for his collaborations with Disney for whom he contributed many story sketches and illustrations, not least for Fantasia. Kay Nielsen was born in Copenhagen into an artistic family; both of his parents were actors - Nielsen's father, Martinus Nielsen, was the director of Dagmarteater and his mother, Oda Nielsen , was one of the most celebrated actresses of her time, both at the Royal Danish Theater and at the Dagmarteater. He received his first English commission from Hodder and Stoughton to illustrate a collection of fairy tales , providing 24 colour plates and more than 15 monotone illustrations for In Powder and Crinoline, Fairy Tales Retold by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch in In the same year, Nielsen was also commissioned by The Illustrated London News to produce a set of four illustrations to accompany the tales of Charles Perrault ; Nielsen's illustrations for 'Sleeping Beauty', 'Puss in Boots', 'Cinderella' and 'Bluebeard' were published in the Christmas Edition. A year later in , Nielsen provided 25 colour plates and more than 21 monotone images for the children's collection East of the Sun and West of the Moon.
Nielsen joined the ranks of Arthur Rackham and Harry Clarke in enjoying the success of the burgeoning gift-book market at this time, and is also remembered for his pioneering collaborations with Disney — for whom he contributed many story sketches and illustrations. Kay Nielsen was born in Copenhagen into an artistic family. In the same year, Nielsen was also commissioned by The Illustrated London News to produce a set of four illustrations to accompany the tales of Charles Perrault. Also in that year, Nielsen produced at least three illustrations depicting scenes from the life of Joan of Arc, accompanying the text of The Monk of Fife published in The colour images for both In Powder and Crinoline and East of the Sun and West of the Moon were reproduced by a 4-colour process, in contrast to many of the illustrations prepared by his contemporaries that characteristically utilised a traditional 3-colour process.