Lot 17
  • 17

Maxfield Parrish 1870 - 1966

400,000 - 600,000 USD
850,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Maxfield Parrish
  • Winter Sunshine (Sunlight)
  • signed Maxfield Parrish and dated 1955 (lower right); also numbered, titled, signed and dated no. 56-2/"Winter Sunshine"/Maxfield Parrish/1956 (revised from 1955) on a label on the reverse
  • oil on masonite


Arthur O. Jacobsen, Hempstead, New York, 1963 (acquired from the artist)
Selma Carpenter, Enfield Center, New Hampshire (his daughter)
La Galeria, Cornish, New Hampshire (acquired from the above)
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1983


Harold Knox, Collector's Guide to Maxfield Parrish, West Lebanon, New Hampshire, 1972, p. 26
Coy Ludwig, Maxfield Parrish, New York, 1973, no. 839, p. 214 (as Sunlight [artist's title: Winter Sunshine])
Alma Gilbert, Maxfield Parrish: The Masterworks, Berkeley, California, 1992, 1995, pp. 171, 181, 211, illustrated fig. 8.13, p. 180
Alma Gilbert, Maxfield Parrish: The Landscapes, Berkeley, California, 1998, p. 104, illustrated p. 105 (as 1949)

Catalogue Note

In 1931, at the height of his popularity, Maxfield Parrish decided to abandon the figurative work that had made him a household name and devote his efforts entirely to landscape painting. The magical, detailed landscapes previously used as backgrounds for figurative works now became the primary subject; goddesses and nymphs were replaced by another ideal–the mountains, rolling meadows, grand oak trees, farmhouses, barns and open blue skies of the New Hampshire landscape. For Parrish, nature was infinitely complex, reflected in his meticulous painting style, and he strove to transcribe its transient beauty in his work: "those qualities which delight us in nature–the sense of freedom, pure air and light, the magic of distance, and the saturated beauty of color, must be convincingly stated and take the beholder to the very spot" (Coy Ludwig, Maxfield Parrish, New York, 1973, p. 175). Winter Sunshine, a tranquil, beautifully rendered landscape, suffused with a radiant glow, fully captures Parrish’s idyllic vision of his beloved New England home.

For twenty-seven years, from 1936 to 1963, Brown & Bigelow, a publishing company based in St. Paul, Minnesota, reproduced one of Parrish’s vertical landscapes as an annual calendar. Beginning in 1941, Parrish also provided a horizontal winter scene each year, to be used for smaller calendars and greeting cards. Parrish typically submitted a number of paintings for Brown & Bigelow to choose from, thus, Winter Sunshine was used as the 1958 winter scene despite having been painted a few years earlier. Once the reproductions were complete, Brown & Bigelow returned the paintings to the artist and he was free to sell them. Copies of correspondence between Parrish and the original owner of Winter Sunshine, Arthur Jacobsen, indicate it took some time for the artist to deliver the painting: "At last, at last That the little snow painting is on its way to you. I put aside Sunday to box it, but my dear Mr. Fry, art director of Brown & Bigelow of St. Paul called and staid [sic] to lunch. Our nice mail man comes up every morning for his sup [sic] of coffee, and he will attend to it [sic] mailing…" Upon receiving word that the painting had finally arrived Parrish wrote, "…it is good to know once more the little painting reached you. So flags are waving and bands playing and all is right with the world."