"The Knave of Hearts: Lady Violetta and the Knave"   Lot no. 2542

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By Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966)

1925 (Estimated)
20.25" x 16.25"; Framed 26.25" x 16.26"
Oil on Board
Signed Lower Right

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Maxfield Parrish’s most prestigious and recognized illustrations were published during the early 20th century for the children’s book The Knave of Hearts, written by Louise Saunders. Saunders was the wife of famed Scribner’s Sons editor Maxfield Perkins. Perkins commissioned Parrish to complete this series at the height of his career, a time when Parrish’s illustrations were displayed in one out every five American homes. Parrish had asked his good friend William Jennings Bryan for permission to paint his grandchild, Kitten Owen, as the model for images of Lady Violetta. Parrish completed 26 illustrations for Knave of Hearts, using many of his own household items as props. This last series of illustrations is known as Parrish’s greatest collection of work. The Owen family was rumored to have purchased The Lady Violetta and the Knave. However, this piece later appeared in Parrish’s estate, sold by his son, Maxfield Parrish Jr., during the end of his father’s life. The artist was known to keep his most prized works close to him in his home, approaching his death in 1966 - including The Lady Violetta.


"M.P" Signed Lower Right. Verso: "Maxfield Parrish, Windor, VT. 1924" (in white paint) Also: In upper left hand corner (in black ink) "This is to certify that this is an original Maxfield Parrish painting painted for the Knave of Hearts [signed] Maxfield Parrish, Jr., April 24, 1976"

Also in the artists hand (in white paint)...."The Knave of Hearts. The Lady Violetta and the Knave of Hearts open the oven foor to see if the tarts are done."



Gilbert, Alma M. The Make-Believe World of Parrish and Sue Lewin. Pomegranate, 1990

Gilbert, Alma M. Maxfield Parrish: The Masterworks. Tenspeed Press, 1992, 1994, 2001

Gilbert, Alma M. Maxfield Parrish: Master of Make Believe, Trust for Museum Exhibitons. Exhibit Catalog. 2005-06

JVJ Publishing, Jim Vadeboncoeur; The Vadeboncoeur Collection of Images, Palo Alto, CA. Issue#13, Fall 2014


Scott and Fowles Galleries, NY, NY. 1925

Vose Galleries, Boston, MA. 1976

La Galeria, San MAteo, CA. 1977

Maxfield Parrish Museum, Plainfield, NH. 1978

La Galeria, San Francisco, CA 1984

Alma Gilbert Galleries, Burlingame, CA, 1992-1993

Simic Galleries, Beverly Hills, CA 1993

Alma Gilbert Galleries, Burlingame CA 1994

Cornish Colony Museum, Cornish, NH 1998

National Exhibition of Maxfield Parrish: Society for the Four Acts 2005-2006

Parrish House Museum, Plainfield NH 2009



See all original artwork by Maxfield Parrish
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