Peter Ellenshaw (1913-2007), whose artistic career spanned more than seven decades, was considered the premier seascape and landscape artist of his generation, but he was also a motion picture art director, an Academy Award winning special effects artist, and official Disney Legend.
Born in London in 1913, Peter Ellenshaw was fortunate enough in his early twenties to get a job as an apprentice to W. Percy Day, O.B.E., the British film industry's foremost special effects artist and matte painter. Day, a Royal Academy trained artist, took Peter Ellenshaw under his wing, working on such classics as Things to Come
, The Thief of Baghdad
, and Black Narcissus
After serving in the Second World War as a pilot for the Royal Air Force, Peter Ellenshaw returned to the film industry as a matte artist for MGM's Quo Vadis
. Then, in the late 1940s, Walt Disney approached Peter Ellenshaw to work on the studio's first live action feature, Treasure Island
. Thus began a professional collaboration and friendship that lasted over 30 years and 34 films, earning him 5 Oscar nominations; he ultimately won for his work on Mary Poppins
. Peter Ellenshaw is consider by most an icon in the industry.
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