Danish illustrator Kay (“Kigh”) Nielsen began his career at a time when colorful art could be reproduced successfully in books. He illustrated East of the Sun and West of the Moon, some of Perrault and Grimm and his fellow Dane, Hans Christian Andersen. Riding the wave of technology, he designed the “Ave Maria” and “Night on Bald Mountain” segments of Fantasia.
Dismissed by Disney before the film was released, Nielsen was barely able to make ends meet. His work fell out of favor and, after his death in 1957, it was offered to museums in America and Denmark, but none were interested.
These days Kay Nielsen’s art is prized in editions such as these:
Nielsen’s Fairy Tale Illustrations in Full Color (Dover Fine Art, History of Art). Dover Publications; Green Edition, 2006. (Paperback)
East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North, illustrated by Kay Nielsen. Calla Editions, 2008.
Larkin, David (editor), Kay Nielsen. Peacock Press/Bantam, 1975.
I’m curious to know why Nielsen was dismissed by Walt Disney in 1941. I’ve never seen an explanation. Anybody know?