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Fall Harvest Time

This is a rare picture of an almost unknown, completely unconventional, and very early Maxfield Parrish painting, dating from 1896, a year after his marriage to Lydia Austin, and when he had opened his first studio in Philadelphia.

The rarity is that it was not done for any magazine publication.

It is unconventional for Parrish because of it’s size and the material used.

Read on.

Young Gleaner 1

The Young Gleaner

This painting measures 28” x 42”, which is large for an easel painting. It is an oil on canvas, which, as most of you know, was not the medium upon which Parrish later developed his famous glazed oil-on-board style.

It was done in 1896 specifically to create an advertising poster of the same dimensions for the Heliotype Printing Company of Boston, Massachusetts, a high-end advertising company specializing in the Chromolithograph process which became extremely popular in the late 19th Century for producing color prints.

As you can see by the tag on the picture frame, the title given to the painting was “Child Harvester”. Apparently Heliotype had Parrish create this as a proposal to a brewing company for an ad. Unfortunately, there is no record of it having been used.

This painting is known to collectors by different name, probably one supplied by the artist. This collectors’ name is the “The Young Gleaner” The word “gleaner” refers to gatherers of harvest products. But, of course you already knew that, didn’t you?

lydia_parrishI am quite sure that MP had his new bride Lydia Austin, whom he married  in June 1895, pose for the commission he received from the Heliotype Printing Company for the youthful gleaner advertising proposal.

The simplistic outline, the flat colors, all reflect the requirements at the turn of the 20th Century necessary for the Chromolithograph process to be able to reproduce only a limited number of colors. Despite this painting’s relative lack of exposure and unpublished status,  Christies auctioned the painting for $1,200,000 in 2017.


In regards to our 2021 exhibit of Parrish originals currently for sale, please view all the paintings, watercolors, and drawings by clicking on the Art for Sale link above.

Contact Alma Gilbert for the full catalogue and price list: agilbert@almagilbert.com