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"Kay Rasmus Nielsen (March 12, 1886–June 21, 1957) was a Danish illustrator who was popular in the early 20th century, the "golden age of illustration" which lasted from when Daniel Vierge and other pioneers developed printing technology to the point that drawings and paintings could be reproduced with reasonable facility. He joined the ranks of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac in enjoying the success of the gift books of the early 20th century. Nielsen is also known for his collaborations with Disney for whom he contributed many story sketches and illustrations." (Wikipedia)
"Kay (pronounced Kigh) Nielsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1886, of an illustrious theater family. His father was Professor Martinius Nielsen, an actor, later to become the managing director of the Dagmartheater in Copenhagen, and his mother was Oda Larssen, a celebrated actress. Because of his parent's professional lives, he grew up surrounded by people of the Scandinavian theater, including such celebrities as Ibsen, Grieg and Bjornsen (Conmire 1979).
Nielsen's artistic talent developed during his childhood, when he heard the sagas of the northern countries. While being read to he would draw what was in his imagination. He also committed to paper other life situations, but it was not his intention to become an artist. When he was 12 he was taken out of regular school and tutored at home during which time he considered a career in medicine. At 18, Kay left home to study in Paris, where he lived in Montparnasse and studied art at the 'Acadamie Julien under Jean Paul Laurence...' (Nielsen 1945). Much of his work at the art institute during this period was from nature, but he still preferred to draw images from his imagination and from the reading he did.
There were 3 outside influences on Nielsen's work. The first was oriental..." http://yorktown.library.pitt.edu/libraries/is/enroom/illustrators/nielsen.htm