Friday, May 10, 2013

Go-to Daydream: Parrish Blue

Winter Sunrise 1949 source

Romance 1922 source

I first heard about Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966) in The Secret of Scent. I think that a family of fragrances was being compared to Parrish paintings. I think it was chypre. I had to look it up so I knew what he was talking about, and I was absolutely stunned. I had only seen images like these in my dreams. In fact I have a very vivid reoccurring dream about Elizabeth Park, and it is in the shockingly vivid Parrish colors. 

Lute Players 1922 source

Daybreak 1923 source

  The colors are the result of glazing. I had tried this once and the result was amateurish but good. However, he also used photographs, therefore, some of these are collages. It isn’t so different from John Atkinson Grimshaw's experimental techniques. He also used a projector to recreate complex prints on fabric, he is credited for pioneering this technique. However, according to the Hockney-Falco Thesis, this technique was used in the Renaissance. I believe, however that Parris came up with it independently, so it doesn’t make it any less impressive. 

Reveries 1913 source

Blue Fountain source

Aside from the technical stuff, the contents of his images are amazing. It's hard to believe that many of these were for ads. The one below was for chocolate (I think). These capture the imagination into a pleasant daydream that I don't ever want to end. The classical themes bring one back in time but, obviously actually traveling back in time would be disappointing (It would be disappointing in a lot of ways, actually). I wish I had magical Maxfield Parish glasses so that when I put them on, the world would look like this.

The Garden of Allah 1918 source

Arabian Nights: King of the Black Isle 1906 source

If you want to read the Arabian Nights with the illustrations, or at least see it, the eBook is right here, unfortunately, they are kind of small. His style is perfectly suited to illustrate fairy tales and beautiful adventures.  All adventures are beautiful, I guess, if they weren’t I suppose they would be "experiences". 

Enchanted Prince 1934 source

The King Samples The Tarts 1924 source

Ring of the Neibelung 1898 source

At Close of Day 1941 source

This one above is obviously from New Hampshire. Sometimes, the sky actually looks something like this. If you live in New Hampshire, you might want to see his home and gardens. I know firsthand that there is not much to do in that state, other than become one with nature, that is.


Ecstasy 1930 source

Stars 1926 source

Sleeping Beauty 1912 source

The Lantern Bearers 1910 source 

The Old Glen Mill 1950 source

By the way, there is a perfume I associate with Parrish, it is Laguna from Salvador Dali. It isn't a chypre but it is one the most splendid perfumes I have ever laid nostrils upon (god that sounds bizarre haha). Seriously though, since I can't have Parrish glasses, at least I can have this perfume.


Spirit of the Night 1919 source

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