About Kay Nielsen
There were three outside influences on Nielsen’s work. The first was oriental art which he grew up with because his grandfather had brought paintings and sculpture back from China. Susan Meyer says, in her A Treasury Of The Great Children’s Book Illustrators, “Japanese woodcuts led to much of his own work: asymmetrical composition, large vacant areas, sinuous line work, and a flattened perspective” (Meyer 1983).
The second influence was the style of Aubrey Beardsley. Many of Beardsley’s characteristics are in Nielsen’s work, especially his “floral style … .which particularly influenced book illustration” (Hutter 1965), and his elongated figures.
The third influence was the Art Nouveau movement which began shortly before Nielsen’s birth and continued into the early part of the Twentieth Century. Because this art form draws on the oriental style and is characterized by long smooth curving lines and open spaces, Nielsen can be said to have either been influenced by it or a contributor to it.
Source: ENR Illustrator’s Project