Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Artist/Picture Study - Maxfield Parrish

This month Sophia and Olivia looked at six pictures that were created by Maxfield Parrish.


Maxfield Parrish (July 25, 1870 – March 30, 1966) was an American illustrator and painter who was known for his distinctive saturated hues and idealized neo-classical imagery.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was the son of etcher and painter Stephen Parrish. He began drawing for his own amusement as a child. His given name was Frederick Parrish but he later adopted the maiden name of his paternal grandmother, Maxfield, as his middle name, and later as his professional name.

His parents encouraged his talent. He attended Haverford College, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Drexel Institute of Art, Science & Industry. His artistic career lasted for more than half a century; and helped shape the Golden Age of illustration and the future of American visual arts.

He lived in Philadelphia until age 28, at which time he purchased land opposite the valley from his parents' home in New Hampshire, where over a number of years he designed and built his own home and eventual studio, The Oaks. He spent the rest of his life until his death in 1966 at age 95.

Parrish was one of the most prolific and successful illustrators and painters of the Golden Age of Illustration. He was earning over $100,000 per year by 1910, at a time when a fine home could be purchased for $2,000. Norman Rockwell referred to Parrish as "my idol." Parrish, although unique in his execution and never duplicated, exhibited considerable influence upon other illustrators and artists, an influence which continues through the present.

Parrish's work defies categorization since he was part of no traditional movement or school, and developed an individual and original style.

Picture Study

Following are the six images the girls looked at. Sophia's and Olivia's comments about what they remember after looking at the images are below.

 Very Little Red Riding Hood, 1897.

Sophia remembered:
=>There are brown trees in the background. You can't see the top of them. At the bottom, you can see roots snaking around them.
=> The trees are very detailed. One looks like it has a thumb pressed against it.
=> In the center of the picture if Red Riding Hood. She is standing on a stone. She has a very pale face, non-descript lips,light gray eyes, black hair that looks like it could be curly, and a sort of interesting forlorn kind of look.
=> She is wearing a black skirt with neat lines of polka-dots all the way down to the bottom where there are black and white lines going around the skirt.
=> The top of the dress is sort of a brownish-black color. She has black cuffs on her wrist and a black collar.  There's a black line encircling her waist.
=> Over her dress is an orange color cape that isn't extremely long, and around the bottom there are black, red, and orange lines.
=> In her hands she's holding a wicker basket. It's the same color as the trees with a white cloth over the top.

Olivia remembered:
=> Red Riding Hood has an orange cape. She has under her chin a big white bow which, in my opinion, is too big for her.
=> There are some words at the bottom of her feet.
=> Red Riding Hood is holding a basket that has a white cloth covering it.
=> There are lots of trees behind her. The trees have a lot of detail in them.
=> In the trees further back, there are long stick-like things in black.
=> Red Riding Hood is wearing a black and white dress. At the skirt of her dress she has polka dots all over it.
=> Her cape at the bottom has colorful lines added on it.
=> Her face looks like she is kind of smiling and kind of not.
=> Red Riding Hood is standing on some snow.
=> You can't see the top of the trees.


Villa Gamberaia Settignano, 1903.

Sophia remembered:
=> The sky is a pale blue and is covered by white clouds.
=> There is a small break in the clouds and the sun is peeking out.
=> On the ground you can see parts of a house. It has pale walls and a brown roof and green window shutters.
=> Leading out of the house you can see half of an iron gate.
=> There are steps that lead up to a balcony, and along the stairs and sides there are vines that have grown up.
=> Along the railing there are busts of men and women; and at the top of the balcony there is a statue of a lady.
=> Down on the green lawn along the edge of the stairs there are small green potted trees that look like topiary.
=> There's another walkway leading out of the picture, but you can't see where it goes.
=> The house appears to be in an Italian countryside because of the way it is built and because you can see a mountain in the distance.

Olivia remembered:
=> At the bottom of the page are some letters: Gamberaia.
=> The sky is kind of a dark blue, then it goes into a light purple, then it goes into a super light purple. There's also a super huge mountain.
=> The house looks like it is in Italy.
=> There is lots of greenery. There are bushes that have yellow fruit, flowers, or blossoms...or something.
=> The building looks like it is made out of a paleish rock-like, maybe it's not sandstone.
=> It looks like a very old house that's been around for ages.
=> There are lots of stairs around that place.
=> There are some statues that were made without their bodies. It's kind of creepy.
=> There are lots of shrubs and miniature trees around the place.


Milkmaid, 1901.

Sophia remembered:
=> The clouds took up most of the sky. They are sort of a golden color around the edges and it looks like the sun is starting to set.
=> There are lots of trees in the pictures - light and dark green.
=> Up on the hill in the distance, there is a pale castle with a blue-gray roof.
=> Standing on the side of a grassy hill is a milk maid with a large brown hat and her brown hair is pulled up under the hat.
=> She is looking up towards the sky and she is wearing a white sleeveless top with the left side kind of on her shoulder.
=> She has a dark skirt with the top layer pulled up to her waist.
=> In her right hand is a big silver pail and under her other arm is a pail that's on her waist.
=> She doesn't appear to be wearing shoes, but her feet are dark.
=> Behind her  is a big boulder that's covered with vines and trees.
=> Her lips are turned up.
=> She is smiling slightly as she stares up towards the sky.

Olivia remembered:
=> Behind the milk maid there is a large boulder.
=> The milk maid has two pails - one she's holding by the handle and the other is by her waist.
=> In the distance, there's a huge castle-like mansion.
=> The milk maid looks like she's in a forest on a hill.
=> There are lots of clouds, and you can only see a little bit of the sky.
=> The milk maid is wearing a white blouse and a skirt. It looks like she pulled up a little of the skirt.
=> The milk maid is wearing a large hat.
=> The mansion/castle is a tannish color with a greenish-blueish color for the roof.
=> There are lots of trees. The ones surrounding the castle are a light green and the ones by her are a dark green.
=> Her face is part smiling and not smiling.
=> Her face is very dark - it is shaded by her hat.
=> The clouds are cream color with grayish lines.


The History of Codadad and His Brothers, 1929.

Sophia remembered:
=> In the center of the picture, there's a boat. It's a pale color. There's light green band around it. I can't see the back of the boat because it's coming over the top of a wave, so it looks like they're standing on a very small boat.
=> There are six men in the boat. They are all bare-chested except the leader who is standing at the prow of the boat. He has a strip of cloth from his shoulder to his waist - like a sash.
=> They all are wearing loin-cloth things.
=> To the right of the leader (who has his arms crossed and a mustache), there are three men. All of them are wearing white turbans, except one who has a red one.
=> To the left of the leader, there are two men who have the same outfit and one has a sword or big stick at his side.
=> They were all smiling except one man who was holding the rigging. He looked like he was going to cry.

Olivia remembered:
=> There are six men. Five of the six men are smiling and look like they are enjoying themselves.
=> All six men are wearing turbans so you can't see their hair.
=> The background looks like the sun is rising or setting.
=> The sea looks like there are huge waves going on.
=> The colors are dark with a little bit of golden.
=> The golden color is with the sun.
=> The men are wearing skirts...or kilts.
=> One of the men has a red turban.
=> The sea is dark...kind of black, but it has some white in it.
=> Kind of at the top of the picture, the sky is dark.
=> There's a man that's in the front of the boat. He has his arms crossed and it looks like he is glaring or something.
=> The shape of the boat is weird. It's curvy.
=> The mast of the boat is big and a creamy color.


Circus Bedquilt Design, 1904.

Sophia remembered:
=> The picture is surrounded by a single band and the picture is like looking through a kaleidoscope.
=> All our sides are basically the same with a clown at each corner who is holding square with things cut out of the side.
=> Next to each one, there is a zebra, so the clowns get the rear-ends of the zebras.
=> The two zebras are facing each other.
=> Down on the ground under the zebras, there are two acrobats that are laying on the ground with their legs almost touching so that they make a step stool for another acrobat who is standing on their feet, and he's looking upward. He is standing in front of a big circle that is being held on either side by two more clowns wearing hats.
=> It looks like that all the way around - so whatever angle you look at it, it looks the same.
=> The colors aren't very bright. They are muted.
=> The brightest color I see is the acrobat's little shorts - the one who is standing on the other two acrobats.
=> I probably would not have chosen this picture because it is hard to explain and the colors are boring. Plus there are clowns. The clowns are kind of a deal-breaker.

Olivia remembered:
=> There are eight zebras.
=> There are four women in each corner and they are holding a diamond0-shaped box.
=> There are two men and they are supporting a woman who has her arms spread out and there are two people holding her arms.
=> The colors in the picture are golden - except the zebras.
=> There are four balls in the center and placed around in a diamond shape.
=> The people in the corner have round shapes on their cheeks - like they are blushing. It looks funny..they are wearing green outfits. They have ruffles around their necks.
=> The women are wearing blue outfits - like ballerinas so they have tutus on.
=> The people around the edges are wearing black pants and darkish-blue shirts.


Interlude (The Lute Players), 1922.

Sophia remembered:
=> There are three girls sitting and laying on a balcony.
=> There are two older ones and a younger one. The older one is on the right and has a lute in her hand. She is sitting with a smile on her face at the older girl.
=> The other girl also has a lute and she is sitting with one hand held up behind her. She is looking at a younger girl with black hair who is laying on her stomach with her feet behind her.
=> They all have rather flowy dresses with their sleeves rolled up as high as they could go.
=> The girls are rather pale and don't have a lot of color on them or their dresses. They each have a different sash: one purple, one orange, and one blue.
=> Behind them is a big lake that is a brilliant light blue and further out is a big cliff. You can't see a lot of it because it is blocked by trees.
=> There are so many trees that they make a canopy over where the girls are sitting.

Olivia remembered:
=> There are three women and two of them are holding strange instruments.
=> The leaves on the trees are changing colors, so it looks like the start of fall.
=> There are rocks around the place.
=> There's a pretty blue lake or ocean.
=> The women are wearing white robes.
=> The women are sitting on a flat-rock platform.
=> The women have ribbons wrapped around their robes.
=> The trees have  big green leaves.
=> The sky is a dark blue and near the tree top it lightens up.
=> The instruments look like a guitar and violin. They are tannish color.
=> The ocean is smooth.
=> Two of the women are looking at each other and the other one is staring at another woman.
=> The women look like they are having fun because they are smiling at one another.



Vicki Miller said...

What a great post! As picasso said, 'every child is an artist, the problem is remaining one as we grow up' Looking at art from a child's point of view is so refreshing

denthe said...

So interesting to read the different things they remember ....

Zafaran said...

I found this very interesting - reading about the wonderful illustrator, the six artworks and the observations of Sophia and Olivia! The girls are so observant and creative! Great!