Kay Nielsen (whose first name is pronounced “kigh”), (1886-1957) was a Danish illustrator who was popular in the early 20th century, the “golden age of illustration” which lasted from when Daniel Vierge and other pioneers developed printing technology to the point that drawings and paintings could be reproduced with reasonable facility. He joined the ranks of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac in enjoying the success of the gift books of the early 20th century. This fad lasted until roughly the end of World War II when economic changes made it more difficult to make a profit from elaborately illustrated books.
Born in Copenhagen into an artistic family, his father was director of the Royal Danish Theatre. He studied art in Paris from 1904 to 1911, and then lived in England from about 1911 to 1916. He received his first English commission from Hodder and Stoughton to illustrate a collection of fairytales, providing 24 colour plates and more than 15 monotone illustrations – In Powder and Crinoline, Fairy Tales Retold by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, 1913. In the same year, Nielsen was also commissioned by The Illustrated London News to produce a set of four illustrations to accompany the tales of Charles Perrault – with the images for ‘Le Belle au Bois Dormant’ (‘Sleeping Beauty’), ‘Le Chat Botté’ (‘Puss in Boots’), ‘Cendrillon’ (‘Cinderella’) and ‘La Barbe Bleue’ (‘Bluebeard’) being published in the 1913 Christmas Edition. Source.