Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966): At Close of Day, 1941, Oil on12/6/2021, 2:38:51 PM
Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966): At Close of Day, 1941, Oil on board, 15 x 13 in., Private Collection Although Maxfield Parrish painted landscapes throughout his career, it was not until the 1930s, shortly after he turned 60, that he announced publicly that he was emancipating himself from the figure, and devoting himself instead to pure landscape painting. This shift away from what he had described to the Associated Press as his pictures of "girls on rocks" (wit tinged with a certain irritation perhaps), which had won him such celebrity and financial success, seems to have been prompted by a convergence of factors. In 1936, at age 64, when most people start thinking about retiring, Parrish, as Coy Ludwig noted "was entering full speed into a new phase of his career" as a landscape painter. That year, an opportunity to become a full-time landscape painter presented itself to Parrish in the form of a commission from the Brown and Bigelow calendar and greeting card company. Around the time he produced At Close of Day, Parrish decided to reduce the dimensions of his landscape supports to take into account the published proportions of the artwork in the calendars. This snowy scene of the Plainfield, New Hampshire Village Church at Dusk (Parrish's original title) is historically important within the artitist's mature career as a landscape painter because it is one of the earliest winter scenes he produced.