Collection: Kay Nielsen

Kay Nielsen (March 12, 1886 – June 21, 1957) was a Danish illustrator best known for his work for Disney, for whom he contributed many story sketches and illustrations, not least the nightmarish, eerie and delicate Bald Mountain scenes for the animated movie Fantasia (1940).

But what interests us here are his 25 colour plates and more than 21 monotone images for the children’s collection East of the Sun and West of the Moon (1914). Reminiscent of the magically romantic work of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac in use of Art Nouveau with oriental influences, these exceptional colour images inspired by Norwegian folklore were reproduced by a 4-colour process, in contrast to many of the illustrations prepared by his contemporaries that characteristically utilised a traditional 3-colour process.