Archive for the ‘kay nielsen’ Category

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Illustration: Kay Nielsen’s 12 Dancing Princesses and Hansel and Gretel

animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel

animationresources.org Nielsen was a Danish illustrator who is best known today for his concept work at Disney on Fantasia. Nielsen’s pastels of Chernabog from the “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence set the mood and gave animator Bill Tytla a big boost. But among illustrators, Nielsen is best known for his illustrations for his masterful work on East of the Sun and West of the Moon. His style was ornate and decorative, blending elements of Aubrey Beardsley and John Bauer with Persian illuminated manuscripts and Oriental motifs.

Here is some of Nielsen’s earliest work, his illustrations for Twelve Dancing Princesses…
kay

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

animationresources.org Nielsen Twelve Dancing Princesses

And here is a sampling of animationresources.org Nielsen’s later style- the illustrations for Hansel and Gretel and Stories from the Brothers Grimm…

animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel
animationresources.org Nielsen Hansel and Gretel

Visit our Kay Nielsen Gallery at Imagekind to order fine art prints of beautiful illustrations from “East of the Sun West of the Moon”. The prints are made from high resolution scans off a pristine first edition from the collection of Animation Resources. You can order individual prints, or a huge sheet with all 25 images from this landmark illustrated children’s book. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these prints goes to support Animation Resources.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Biography: Kay Nielsen

This posting is a stub. You can contribute to this entry by providing information through the comments link at the bottom of this post. Please organize your information following the main category headers below….

Birth/Death

Birth: 12 March, 1886

Death: 21 January, 1957

Occupation/Title

Illustrator, Visual Development artist, Art Director

Bio Summary

Kay Nielsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1886. He moved to London in 1911 but returned to his hometown in 1916. He worked in the theatre during World War I designing stage sets for the Theater Royal productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Aladdin. In 1924 he illustrated Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales and then in 1925 he illustrated Hansel and Gretel and other Stories From the Brothers Grimm. Later on during his life he created about twenty Arabian Nights paintings,
then he was called on by Walt Disney to do some work on Fantasia. He ended up doing the “Ave Maria” and the “Night on Bald Mountain” sequences before soon he was laid off. He died of poverty in 1957.

Early Life/Family

Kay Nielsen grew up surrounded by theater. His mother, Oda Larssen, was a theater actress and his father, Martinius Nielsen was also a theater actor. Martinius soon became the managing director of the Dagmar Theater in Copenhagen. He grew up surrounded by people in the Scandanavian theater including celebrities like Ibsen, Grieg and Bjornsen.

Education/Training

Nielsen was born with an innate talent to create images from his mind. He left Copenhagen for a while to study intensively in Paris.

Career Outline

1913 marks the start of Kay Nielsen’s career. His first book, the Twelve Dancing Princesses was one that very fiew artists have tried to recreate. His second book, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, was probably one of his greatest masterpieces he has created. The book had fifteen Nordac Tales written by Gudrun Thorne – Thomsen, which contained an astonishing 25 watercolor paintings by Nielsen himself. Once WWI hit however, Nielsens reign of illustrations came to a hault. He returned to Copenhagen to participate in theater productions. In 1924 Nielsen attempted to revive his career by creating Han’s Anderson’s Fairy Tales and Hansel and Gretel and Other Stories From the Brothers Grimm in 1925. However Kay decided to go back to Copenhagen and do more Theater productions.
He staged several great productions and soon decide to get work in the animation industry. Unfortunately, after working on Fantasia designs for “Ave Maria” and “Night on Bald Mountain,” he was laid off in 1940.

Comments On Style

Kay Nielsen’s style was very whimsical and ornate, using the colors in his pastel to give off beauty that was not really achieved during that time period. Because his style was so focused in detail and pastel renderings, he tended to have a difficult time copping with the high demands of the animation industry.

Influences

Kay Nielsen was heavily influenced by Aubrey Beardsley, Burne-Jones, much of the Japanese and Persian art that had entered into the west. He also picked up the Art Nouveau style during his growth in his skills. Nielsen also had an admiration for the work of John Bauer, a Swedish fairy tale artist. In many of Nielsen’s paintings, his forests often has a close resemblance to Bauer’s work

Personality

Nielsen was a person who always had a drive to create. He was someone who was not ready to throw in the towel during bad times. Even though many have forgotten about his works, his true friends still remember him for his passion and drive.

Anecdotes

During his younger years, Nielsen would draw what was in his head as he was being read to. He did not intend to become an artist though.

Miscellaneous

Nielsen, because he was so heavily into illustration, did not understand animation, and could not keep up with the style and pace of it. The fact that Nielsen tended to make smooth renderings in pastels, rather slowly compared to the animators he was surrounded with, he ended up being laid off after Fantasia rapped up.

Filmography

Visual Development:

The Little Mermaid 1989(visual development)
Fantasia 1940(segment “Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria”)

Honors

Related Links

http://www.bpib.com/illustrat/nielsen.htm,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kay_Nielsen
http://www.theweeweb.co.uk/colectors/golden/illus_profile.php?id=332#biblio
http://www.nndb.com/people/499/000040379/

Bibliographic References

BIO-AAA-307

Contributors To This Listing

Ulysses Albert III

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