Kay Nielsen

Kay (pronounced "Kye") Nielsen, a Dane born in 1886, did startling work. It combined decorative elements you'd expect in Art Nouveau with vigor and a strong emotional content. His masterpieces were In Powder and Crinoline (published in America as The Twelve Dancing Princesses), and East of the Sun, West of the Moon, whose images you see on this page.

Later he illustrated more fairy tales, then took on fantastical stage sets. This work brought him to Hollywood and eventually to Disney, where his designs appeared in Fantasia the "Ave Maria" and "Night on Bald Mountain." (We've seen him called the art director for Fantasia, but we understand that he primarily worked on those sequences.) Sadly he died in poverty in 1957. However, in recent decades he has grown in popularity, and unpublished paintings have appeared and been published.

East of the Sun, West of the Moon

The Image in the Water


The Flock of Birds

The Three-Headed Troll


The North Wind


Links | About Us | ©2005 Whimzical Enterprises