The Art of Kay Nielsen
Danish Illustrator Kay Nielsen was born in 1886, in to a time which came to be known as "The Golden Age of Illustration". Both of his parents were artists and he soon was discovered with his original style and beautiful drawings.
He drew illustrations for fellow Dane, H.C. Andersen's fairy tales, which was most appropriate, considering his style. And he continued on with that fairy tale style throughout his life. Drawing scenes from all the famous stories like, Goldilocks and Cinderella.
Nielsen got, through recommendation, a job at Disney studios. And there he helped sketch many film ideas, mostly based on the Brothers Grimm stories. One of the greatest contribution he gave Disney was help shape the bald mountain in Fantasia. While at Disney he made concept art for Andersen's most famous story, The Little Mermaid. Unfortunately, Nielsen never got to see the finished product which was released in 1989.
Nielsen was inspired by Victorian artist Aubrey Beardsley (one of my fav artists) and Swedish master John Bauer. And it truly is a 50 50 mix, Beardsley's orientally influenced art and Bauer's dreamlike, forest drawings is Kay Nielsen. He used color and lines innovative, creating a whole new dreamlike style. Which today still looks so modern.
As way too many artists, Kay Nielsen died without any greater recognition. He had small freelance jobs for churches and not much more until he passed away in 1957. Now his art is well known and he is considered to be one of the great fairy tale artists of the 20th century.