History in Review
||Nielsen's Fairy Tale Illustrations in Full Color
By Kay Nielsen.
(Dover Publications, Inc., New York: 2006. Pg. 64. 59 Color Illustrations - including the cover.) ISBN: 978-0-486-44902-9.
This book can be ordered directly from Dover Publications at: www.doverpublications.com
Reviewed by Anna Dogole - June 25, 2010
Kay Nielsen (1886-1957) was a Danish illustrator and artist whose works, along with other illustrators such as Arthur Rackham, Walter Crane, and Edmund Dulac, regularly illustrated books published during the early years of the twentieth-century. Nielsen studied art in Paris, and spent much of his later career working in England and the United States. Unlike many of his contemporaries, most of Nielsen's book illustrations where reproduced using a four-color process that amplified his delicate illustrations and the subtle hues of his watercolors. While most of his works were used to illustrate children's books, he also worked on some animated cinematic productions and created backdrops for theatrical plays. In the final years of his career, his work concentrated on murals.
This book, Nielsen's Fairy Tale Illustrations in Full Color consists of a collection of fifty-nine, full color illustrations created by Kay Nielsen. These illustrations originally were used to illustrate a number of fairy tale collections, including The Sun and West of the Moon, In Powder and Crinoline, and Fairy Tales by Hans Andersen, and Hansel and Gretel and Other Stories by the Brothers Grimm. All twenty-five full color plates from the 1922 edition of The Sun and West of the Moon are included in this volume, as are all twenty-four full color plates from the 1913 edition of In Powder and Crinoline. In regard to the 1924 edition of Andersen's Fairy Tales, five full color plates have been included, as have five full color plates from the 1925 edition of Hansel and Gretel and Other Stories.
With the exception of the illustration that appears on the cover of this book, a single page is dedicated to each color plate. At the bottom of each plate is an annotation detailing the story and/or book in which the illustration originally appeared, along with a quote from the relevant story that helps to explain the action taking place in the illustration. The annotation that accompanies the color illustration on the cover can be found inside the book. In addition to these plates and captions, a concise overview of Nielsen's life and artistic endeavors has been included.
This enchanting collection of illustrations will be of great interest to art historians, folklorist, and for anyone who simply wants to become acquainted or reacquainted with the one of the great artists of the Golden Age of Illustration.
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