Maxfield Parrish: The Retrospective

Maxfield Parrish has long been considered one of the best-known and beloved American Illustrators. Parrish’s career spanned nearly eight decades, with commissions ranging from early book and poster illustrations, to magazine covers, art prints and commercial advertisements.

His unmistakable paintings characterized by “Parrish blue” water and skies, luminescent mountains and hills, and perfect-looking young women draped in flowing, classically inspired gowns - are infused with a romantic and paradisiacal quality so entrancing that today’s reproductions of them elicit the same infectious enthusiasm as when those first prints were released more than 85 years ago. Everyone marvels at his actual paintings while recognizing that his works are the most reproduced art images in history. In 1922, it was said that one in four American households had a Parrish art print on the walls.

His paintings were created in alternating layers of single colors with transparent varnish layers in between, applied over a monochromatic underpainting. While this technique was superb for period reproductions using early four color printing (which his technique closely resembled), the resulting luminosity of the originals must be seen in person to be fully appreciated.

Maxfield Parrish: The Retrospective contains a remarkable collection of select original works spanning eight decades, providing a comprehensive look at this multi-talented illustrator’s career.