Kay Nielsen’s Fantasia concept art will star in July sale

Kay Nielsen’s original concept art for the Night on a Bald Mountain segment of Fantasia (1940) is selling at Heritage Auctions.

Bidding on the piece starts at $26,290 ahead of the July 1-2 animation art sale.

The terrifying painting shows a demonic figure known as the Chernabog summoning a horde of ghostly figures.

Kay Neilsen Fantasia

Neilsen was hired as a concept artist by Walt Disney in 1937

There’s a very clear link between Nielsen’s painting and the finished animation.                       

Walt Disney hired the famed Danish illustrator as a concept artist in 1937, on the advice of animator and friend Joe Grant.

Grant said of Nielsen: “I'd known his work from books and he was a natural. At the time we were doing Fantasia, and Bald Mountain; he was born for it.”

Nielsen was part of an influential cadre of European illustrators that produced ground breaking work for children’s books during the early 20th century.

He would go on to produce artwork for a proposed Disney adaptation of The Little Mermaid, although the project would ultimately be shelved until 1989.

A 1933 Mickey Mouse Magazine giveaway looks primed to soar past its $13,145 estimate.

The magazine was handed out for free in department stores. This  issue was probably printed in a particularly small run as it hardly ever appears on the market.

Heritage describes it as “so incredibly rare that even our most senior Disney experts have never seen a copy”.

Another copy (from the same collection) sold for $10,000 on eBay a few years back.

We're selling a genuine Disney animation cel.  

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