Here’s where we left off last week - a magical-looking space, with a circular fence of text, and the first inhabitants - the Pied Piper and children.
There’s evidence that this story is based on historical facts. The village of Hamelin did lose a large number of youngsters, but it probably had nothing to do with rats. The children may have been led away to the Children’s Crusade, or just to resettle areas that had been depopulated by the plague. But the village mourned their loss and the story still lives.
(above) A is the earliest image of the piper (pied means the multi-colored clothing), but B (by Kate Greenaway) is a more recognizable piper, so I photoshopped them together (C & D). The children (below) are all by Kate Greenaway).
Next came Rapunzel. In the early versions, she was pregnant with twins when the witch cut off her hair and banished her, but modern versions all look like shampoo commercials. I collected images:
A side note here: many of the Rapunzel illustrations seem to regard Rapunzel’s hair as the leading actor in the production, with the woman herself merely having a supporting role:
But Disney artists have taken these follicular creatures to extremes - Ariel’s hair (below) seems to be devouring her head. Really - it has teeth!
Paul O. Zelinski’s version (first 3 images below) worked best for my Rapunzel…
…while a weird stock image of the witch (4th image above) fit best:
I wasted So.Much.Time. with her hair.
Yes, Mother Goose is already riding up at the top, but I also need her right in the center. So we’ll have two. I manipulated her arm positions so she’ll be holding a distaff and spindle.
(above) Little Red Riding Hood ( see part 2 of this series for the whole background on LRRH) and Hansel & Gretel will be safely inside the fence, with the witch and the wolf right outside. There’s an insert in this picture, showing a later detail of the wolf’s paw. I wanted to have the characters outside the text-fence be make-believe, but the claw - which is crossing into the center - becomes more realistic. (Yes, yes, the inside characters are also fictional, but the idea is that we relate to these characters and want to believe that the danger outside is NOT real.) Hansel & Gretel reflect the Medieval reality that during times of famine, people were known to have abandoned children.
In the story, Gretel pushed the witch into an oven, so I added an old stove/oven behind the witch:
Which brings us to our last heroine of the week, Sleeping Beauty. Some of the illustrations are gorgeous:
A big part of this process is editing - selecting not the most beautiful, but the image that fits the part. This one (below) fit best. I edited out the prince (in the early versions, he rapes her while she’s asleep. So much for love’s first kiss).
Up next week - Snow White (and all those dwarves) Beauty and her beast, Cinderella and the Juniper tree. This piece is going to take forever…