Maxfield Parrish’s Arabian Nights

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Despite spending years tracking down the work of various illustrators I’ve never been as familiar with the major works of Maxfield Parrish as I might. I’ve seen a couple of the plates from this 1909 edition before but the majority are new discoveries. They’re as lucious as you’d expect from Parrish, and for once the paper and inks haven’t been spoiled by age. See all the pages or download the entire book here.

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Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Thomas Mackenzie’s Aladdin
More Arabian Nights
Edward William Lane’s Arabian Nights Entertainments

7 thoughts on “Maxfield Parrish’s Arabian Nights”

  1. I have a huge gorgeous book of Maxfield Parrish’s art which I acquired in 1974,with many colour & some black & white plates. It’s “Maxfield Parrish – The Early Years 1983-1930” with a commentary by Paul W Skeeters, published by Nash Publishing 1973. I think this book represents my discovery of his art.

    I must admit, over the years I grew a little tired of Maxfield Parrish blue, but looking at the book again, as I am at this moment, his art is really something.

  2. Good God Almighty. This is a new name to me. Have just done a quick image search, blown away by his ‘Ring of the Nibelung’ work. Really sensitive, seems to foreshadow the work of Alan Lee. Lovely stuff, thanks for excavating.

  3. Anne: My problem was the opposite, there never seemed to be many books around, or if there were they didn’t come my way. I have a nice American collection of his b&w work but the contents are mostly minor pieces.

    Alfie: Thanks, it’s good to know when you’ve shown someone something new. I often think twice about posting things if I feel that “everyone knows about this”. It’s good to be reminded that it’s not always the case.

    Thom: I didn’t know the Enya link! Her cover is markedly inferior compared to the painting.

    Gabriel: Yes, I remember that cover. They got the Parrish rocks very well. As to the archive pages, I generally download the jpegs these days which obviously aren’t ideal for an iPad.

  4. Parrish often built and photographed miniature sets for his landscapes, (rocks for mountains, glass for water, etc.) hence their curious mix of realism and… um… unrealism? Also he used a handful of models (including himself) interchangeably for male and female figures. Have you ever seen any originals? Their finish is spectacular.

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