Kay Nielsen’s striking watercolour illustrations come to life in this limited edition hardbound book, writes Jeanna Lanting
Taschen publishes Kay Nielsen’s 21 illustrations of the Arabian Nights in a limited edition book
One Thousand and One Nights, also known as the Arabian
Nights, is a compedium of Indo-Persian and Arabic folktales that were compiled between the 8th and 13th centuries. In the latter portion of 1910, Danish illustrator Kay Nielsen completed his rendition of images that accompanied the collection of stories, and the results were considered masterpieces of the early 20th century. It was unfortunate that the project never came into fruition, as finances were tight because of the post-World War I climate. The images were kept under lock and key for about 40 years, and were only published once in the ’70s.
Now, for the first time, all 21 striking images will be published by Taschen for the first time in five colours, including gold. Each illustration is placed on fine art paper in extra-large format, to better display Nielsen’s mastery of the skill and highlight his artistic influences—from Art Nouveau to Indian painting and Japanese woodcuts. The 144-page hardbound, A
Thousand Nights, is the only complete set of Nielsen’s works to have survived. The chance to own this exceptional reproduction is limited, since only 5000 copies will be printed.