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Maxfield Parrish Art for Sale and Sold Prices

Figure painter, Illustrator, Painter, Landscape painter, Decoration painter, b. 1870 - d. 1966

Maxfield Parrish was arguably the early 20th century’s most prominent American illustrator. In the 1920s, one in every four U.S. homes is said to have owned a Parrish print. In his work, which was often associated with Neoclassicism, he showed a propensity for precisely depicting light while giving it a somewhat surreal feel.

About Maxfield Parrish



  • Artist name: Maxfield Parrish

  • Alias: Maxfield Parrish

  • Profession: Painter, illustrator

  • Nationality: American


Maxfield Parrish, one of the most prominent illustrators of the early 20th century, left an indelible mark on the art world with his distinctive style. His works were so iconic that books featuring his illustrations, regardless of the author, were affectionately known as “Parrish books” among his fans. Among his most celebrated pieces is his 1908 painting The Lantern Bearers, a testament to his unparalleled ability to capture light in a precise yet somewhat surreal manner.

Born in Philadelphia, Parrish's artistic journey was deeply influenced by his father, the renowned etcher and painter Stephen Parrish. Both father and son were active members of the Cornish Colony, an artistic community based in New Hampshire, where they found inspiration alongside prominent figures like Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Encouraged by his parents to pursue art as a career, Parrish received formal training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts under the guidance of esteemed instructors such as Thomas Anschutz and Robert Vonnoh. Later, he further honed his skills while sharing a studio with his father and completing his studies at Drexel University under the renowned illustrator Howard Pyle.

In Parrish’s early illustrations for Harper’s Bazaar and his prolific commercial artwork, as well as his later explorations in landscape painting, his subjects and their surroundings are rendered in a realistic style, yet imbued with a dreamlike quality. Often described as Neoclassical in style, Parrish's work is characterized by an acute attention to detail, reflecting his meticulous approach to his craft. Despite his acclaim, Parrish remained modest, describing himself simply as “a mechanic who loved to paint.”

Related Styles and Movements



Highlights and Achievements



  • Maxfield Parrish prints often include swaths of the color lapis lazuli - so much so, in fact, that this a certain blue hue became known as “Parrish Blue” by his contemporary artists and admirers.

  • During the mid-1920s, one in every four U.S. households owned a Parrish print.

  • A 1925 survey found that Parrish, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Cézanne were Americans’ favorite artists at the time.

  • Parrish’s 1922 painting Daybreak is claimed by The National Museum of American Illustration to have been the 20th century America’s most successful print. In May 2006, the original painting sold for $7,632,000 via Christie's.



Read Full Artist Biography

About Maxfield Parrish

Figure painter, Illustrator, Painter, Landscape painter, Decoration painter, b. 1870 - d. 1966

Related Styles/Movements

Brandywine School, Illustrators: American

Alias

Maxfield Parrish

Biography

Maxfield Parrish was arguably the early 20th century’s most prominent American illustrator. In the 1920s, one in every four U.S. homes is said to have owned a Parrish print. In his work, which was often associated with Neoclassicism, he showed a propensity for precisely depicting light while giving it a somewhat surreal feel.

About Maxfield Parrish



  • Artist name: Maxfield Parrish

  • Alias: Maxfield Parrish

  • Profession: Painter, illustrator

  • Nationality: American


Maxfield Parrish, one of the most prominent illustrators of the early 20th century, left an indelible mark on the art world with his distinctive style. His works were so iconic that books featuring his illustrations, regardless of the author, were affectionately known as “Parrish books” among his fans. Among his most celebrated pieces is his 1908 painting The Lantern Bearers, a testament to his unparalleled ability to capture light in a precise yet somewhat surreal manner.

Born in Philadelphia, Parrish's artistic journey was deeply influenced by his father, the renowned etcher and painter Stephen Parrish. Both father and son were active members of the Cornish Colony, an artistic community based in New Hampshire, where they found inspiration alongside prominent figures like Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Encouraged by his parents to pursue art as a career, Parrish received formal training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts under the guidance of esteemed instructors such as Thomas Anschutz and Robert Vonnoh. Later, he further honed his skills while sharing a studio with his father and completing his studies at Drexel University under the renowned illustrator Howard Pyle.

In Parrish’s early illustrations for Harper’s Bazaar and his prolific commercial artwork, as well as his later explorations in landscape painting, his subjects and their surroundings are rendered in a realistic style, yet imbued with a dreamlike quality. Often described as Neoclassical in style, Parrish's work is characterized by an acute attention to detail, reflecting his meticulous approach to his craft. Despite his acclaim, Parrish remained modest, describing himself simply as “a mechanic who loved to paint.”

Related Styles and Movements



Highlights and Achievements



  • Maxfield Parrish prints often include swaths of the color lapis lazuli - so much so, in fact, that this a certain blue hue became known as “Parrish Blue” by his contemporary artists and admirers.

  • During the mid-1920s, one in every four U.S. households owned a Parrish print.

  • A 1925 survey found that Parrish, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Cézanne were Americans’ favorite artists at the time.

  • Parrish’s 1922 painting Daybreak is claimed by The National Museum of American Illustration to have been the 20th century America’s most successful print. In May 2006, the original painting sold for $7,632,000 via Christie's.