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Maxfield Parrish Hardcover – July 1, 2007
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While some of the color prints fail to do the artist justice and there are far too many black and white reproductions, the book is a wonderful catalog of Parrish's work. Oddly, I was surprised to learn of Parrish's obsession with model/muse, Susan Lewin; a woman completly eliminated in Ludwig's treatment of Parrish. To gain an more complete appreciation of Parrish, one should understand that relationship. Perhaps, in addition to purchasing this book, one should obtain the PAFA'a catalog of their Parrish exhibition
Parrish, born in 1870 into a privileged Quaker family, had a wealthy father who pursued the arts. Maxfield's father took the family on long 4 month vacations to Europe so that the father could paint. He was taken to all the major museums and his interest in the art of other eras is evident in his work, especially the Pre-Raphaelites. Romance, folk tales and middle aged costumes populate his commercial art. Parrish was one of the first artists to understand the commercial value of making mechanical reproductions of his art which were sold separately from the original work. Many artists follow this commercial model today. He would spend considerable time painting a perfectly beautiful finished painting, which was then reproduced with mechanical lithographic techniques and these reproductions, called prints, were then sold to the public. Parrish may a fortune and kept the original art. One real strength to the book is the final chapter where the technique of using glazes over a blue under painting is explained. Parrish would use photography and the magic lantern method of developing the perfectly drawn image, These images were included in a composition using the method of the Golden Mean, a compositional strategy that goes back to the ancient Greeks. Parrish would develop a monochromatic image in blue on white that would constitute the complete composition.Read more ›
Interestingly, the cover shows a very blue version of Daybreak, Parrish's most famous painting. It matches the known prints of Daybreak from the early 20th Century. Yet, the original is much more golden and violet. I have a limited edition print done from an accurate photograph of the original. It's beautiful and really makes the blue version stand out as almost another painting.
While the book doesn't explain this difference, it remains one of the definitive books about Maxfield Parrish and a "must own" for any fan or collector of Maxfield Parrish.
I would highly recommend this book to Illustrators, art teachers, and overall art enthusiasts who want to expand their knowledge about illustration and a true master of the past. This book has been cited in other publications such as "Step by Step Graphics" for the depth analysis of his technique.
My only small criticism is that I would've liked to seen more color prints within the book. A few too many black and white reproductions of the artwork. That aside, I feel this book is of tremendous value.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mayfield Parrish was an illustrator who understood color and light. This book contains illustrations that are largely in black and white, and so the book is visually worthless. Read morePublished 6 months ago by angela
A terrific read that includes beautiful, accurate color reproductions of a wide variety of Maxfield Parrish's art, as well as a fascinating look into his long and productive life. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kelley A Hails
I got this as a gift for my dad who is an avid Maxfield Parrish fan. He loves it!Published 20 months ago by abby fulton
for folks who really like Maxfield Parrish this is a terrific book so pleased it was available and came so promptly thanksPublished 22 months ago by Joyce