Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966)

Maxfield Parrish was an American painter and illustrator who was possibly the most popular commercial artist in the United States during the first half of the 20th century. He designed posters, magazine covers, book and advertising illustrations and even painted murals. Parrish is best known for his fantasy landscapes featuring attractive young women. Parrish s meticulous attention to detail and natural backgrounds, as well as unusual use of color gave his illustrations and paintings an almost dreamlike, idyllic ambiance.His father was an engraver and landscape painter and he encouraged young Parrish to indulge his talents. After entering the artistic career professionally, Parrish helped shape the Golden Age of illustration in American visual arts. After illustrating numerous illustrations for large commercial companies, Parrish turned to painting. A recurring theme in Parrish s paintings was androgynous nudes with fantastical landscapes. He also painted many girls on rocks, such as Ecstasy.Parrish s paintings were revolutionary in several ways. For one, he did not adhere to one style. Second, his use of dazzling colors were achieved by glazing, in which Parrish would alternately apply layers of oil separated by a varnish on a monochromatic first layer. His depictions of geometric shapes in paintings were realistic and accurate as well.

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