Great Quote: "... if a picture does not tell its own
story, it's better to have the story without the picture."
Best known for: His use of a deep blue. In fact, it
became so associated with his work that it is still called "Maxfield Parrish Blue"
This is the most widely reproduced painting in the world (Even more than the Mona Lisa!)
His Life: As a child, Parrish and his father spent
their summers touring all of the major museums in Europe. These trips increased his skills and built a wonderful relationship with his father. At 25 Harper's Magazine commisioned a magazine cover from Parrish.This was the first of many to come. And, at 25 Parrish married Lydia Austin (one of his beautiful and talented instructers at the Drexel Institute). Together they had four children. He bought a small one bedroom cabin which he affectionatly called The Oaks. Over his lifetime this small cabin increased to a 20 room cabin with a 15 room studio near by. In 1905 Parrish hired Susan Lewin, a 16 year old, to take care of the children and to help with house work. As time went on Susan became his model (Daybreak, Garden of Allah, and many others) and companion. In the 1920's Parrish and Susan moved into his studio and lived together for 55 years. Lydia went about her life with a companion of her own until her death in 1953. Besides his colbot blue Parrish became known for his many paintings of women in beautiful outdoor scenes. In the 1930's Parrish declared, "I'm done with girls on rocks!" After that he began to paint mainly landscapes for his own enjoyment. Parrish lived in fear of scandal so he never divorced Lydia or married Susan, even after Lydia's death. In 1960 Susan,71, left Parrish ,90, to marry her childhood sweetheart.
A page from Parrish's college chemistry notebook, 1891
Scribner's Magazine Cover for October,1897
Front and back of Scribner's Magazine for December, 1899.
Both done by Parrish.