Kay Nielsen

Kay Rasmus Nielsen , 1886 to 1957 was a Danish illustrator who was popular in the early 20th century, the golden age of illustration which lasted from when Daniel Vierge and other pioneers developed printing technology to the point that drawings and paintings could be reproduced with reasonable facility. He joined the ranks of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac in enjoying the success of the gift books of the early 20th century. He is also known for his collaborations with Disney for whom he contributed many story sketches and illustrations. Born in Copenhagen into an artistic family; both of his parents were actors - Nielsen's father, Martinus Nielsen, was the director of Dagmarteater and his mother, Oda Nielsen, was one of the most celebrated actresses of her time, both at the Royal Danish Theatre and at the Dagmarteater. Kay Nielsen studied art in Paris at Académie Julian and Académie Colarossi from 1904 to 1911, and then lived in England from 1911 to 1916. He received his first English commission from Hodder and Stoughton to illustrate a collection of fairy tales, providing 24 colour plates and more than 15 monotone illustrations for In Powder and Crinoline, Fairy Tales Retold by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch in 1913. In the same year, Nielsen was also commissioned by The Illustrated London News to produce a set of four illustrations to accompany the tales of Charles Perrault; Nielsen's illustrations for Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots, Cinderella and Bluebeard were published in the 1913 Christmas Edition
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