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Maxfield Parrish: The Landscapes

Overview

Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966) remains one of America’s most beloved artists, widely known for his incredibly detailed and lavish works. His landscapes are perhaps the least well known of his masterpieces, although they were the closest to his heart. Indeed, in his later years, Parrish dedicated himself almost entirely to landscape scenes, sometimes reworking earlier pieces to remove human figures.
 
In this witty and illuminating book, ...
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Overview

Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966) remains one of America’s most beloved artists, widely known for his incredibly detailed and lavish works. His landscapes are perhaps the least well known of his masterpieces, although they were the closest to his heart. Indeed, in his later years, Parrish dedicated himself almost entirely to landscape scenes, sometimes reworking earlier pieces to remove human figures.
 
In this witty and illuminating book, Parrish expert Alma Gilbert argues persuasively that Parrish’s better-known illustration career was a thirty-five-year detour on his path to achieving his true goal, a dedication to reproducing nature in all its splendor. The 50-plus color plates in this book show how masterfully he achieved that goal, while the text provides fascinating insight into the stories behind these glorious images. Also featured are lovely photos of Parrish’s estate, The Oaks, where he found refuge and inspiration, shots of the artist and his family, and hitherto unpublished correspondence. Together, these elements help sketch in the context surrounding this remarkable man and his extraordinary art. A feast for the senses, this is truly a book for any art lover, whether familiar with Parrish’s marvelous landscapes, or on the brink of a wonderful discovery.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780898155877
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Alma Gilbert has dedicated the past twenty-five years to the collection, preservation, and admiration of the works of Maxfield Parrish. From the early 1970s to the present, she has bought, owned, and sold over one hundred originals. She estimates that she has exhibited over three hundred works at her California galleries: La Galeria (1972–1985) and the Alma Gilbert Galleries (1987–1996).
 
In 1993, she purchased a portion of Parrish’s New Hampshire estate, The Oaks, where the above photograph was taken.

She has written several books on her favorite artist: The Make Believe World of Maxfield Parrish, two Parrish Poster Books, A Treasury of Parrish in Children’s Literature, The Mechanic Who Loved to Paint, and two editions of Maxfield Parrish: The Masterworks. In the summer of 1998 she opened a museum in Cornish, New Hampshire, dedicated to the works of the artists of the Cornish Colony. The opening exhibit was, of course, A Celebration: The Hundredth Anniversary of Parrish’s Arrival in Cornish.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction
 
As we enter the eve of the next millennium, we should reflect on some of the salient works of American art of this and the last century to see if one particular school or movement defines or encapsulates what is known as American art of this period. If one were to specify which art has defined, inspired, and motivated this country as a whole, American landscape painting would be one of the top contenders for this honor.
 
Were it not for the magnificent works created by Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Thomas Cole, and Frederic Church, who painted the glories of this country’s land--some historians have wondered--would settlers and homesteaders have ventured forth as early in the nineteenth century, seeking the glories of nature attributed by these artists to the landscape? Many settlers set forth inspired by the promise of superlative images of the country, lured by these immortal works.
 
It is not surprising then to realize that American artist Fred Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966), the most reproduced painter in the history of art, began and ended his career with the form he most loved to create: the landscape. Parrish did not come by this achievement easily. He made a small detour of approximately thirty-five years through the fields of illustration before he could afford to do what had always been his goal: work as a landscape artist. In his landscape work he ascended from illustration to fine easel art, and because of his landscapes, his peers began acknowledging him in museums and art institutions.
 
Parrish was born to Stephen Parrish and Elizabeth Bancroft Parrish in Philadelphia on July 25, 1870. His father, who was descended from a long line of very respected Quaker physicians, broke the mold established by his ancestors and became a painter and etcher of some note. Stephen married well. Elizabeth Bancroft’s inheritance, personal wealth, and investments allowed the young husband to spend summer months traveling with his talented son and painting both in Europe and in Annisquam, Massachusetts. The painting camaraderie between father and son remained close and warm throughout their lifetimes.
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Table of Contents

Contents
 
alphabetical List of Color Plates   —x—
 
Acknowledgments   —xiii—
 
Chapter One
Introduction   —1—
 
Chapter Two
Parrish’s Inspiration  —25—
 
Chapter Three
Photographic Details of The Oaks   —31—
 
Chapter Four
Brown and Bigelow Landscapes   —51—
 
Notes   —122—
 
Bibliography   —123—
 
Alphabetical List of Maxfield Parrish Paintings in Text   —124—
 
Credits: photographs and Exhibits   —125—
 
Index   —127—
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 21, 2012

    Excellent Book on Maxfield Parrish.

    The author Alma Gilbert did an excellent job of presenting some of Maxfield Parrish's works. She has a real feel for his work and I would recommend the book to anyone interested in this style of art.

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