Cinderella and Scheherazade .. How did the paintings depict fairy tales?

Art is not separated from history or tales, as paintings always express life and its real and imaginary tales, Scheherazade was the cunning narrator of the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, using her ability to compose captivating tales as a means to prolong her life night after night, and among these tales we find tales that have turned into human heritage International, such as the tales of “Aladdin”, “Sinbad”, “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves” and others.

Among the paintings that dealt with characters from fairy tales, we find a painting entitled Scheherazade by the Victorian painter Sophie Anderson (1823-1903).

The painting shows Scheherazade wearing clothes of precious fabrics and decorated with gold jewelry. The figure of Scheherazade in the painting appears calm, confident and with a calm expression. The painting also looks significantly different from the paintings of male artists who chose to paint female characters from different tales, waiting for a man or a prince to rescue her.

The Victorian period is considered to be the period when there was more interest in children as part of society due to the focus on people’s personal experiences, and the depiction of children in all their forms, so fairy tales increased in popularity, and Victorian fairy tales were printed in beautiful art books.

Shahr Zad painting at the New Art Exhibition in Walsall, England (communication sites)
  • Beauty and the beast

Examples of the beauty of illustrations for fairy tale books appear in the work of the English artist John Dixon Patten (1860-1932).

Patten made illustrations for many Celtic and English fairy tales, and tales from the Thousand and One Nights. He drew illustrations for stories, such as “Snow White”, “The Seven Dwarfs” and “The Sleeping Princess”, but “Beauty and the Beast” remains one of his most beautiful drawings.

The monster appears in the painting differently from what we are used to, as if it is a mixture of more than one animal. The princess stands in front of him in a classic dress surrounded by flowers in different colors, and the entire painting has a feeling that makes it like a dream.

Although stories increased in popularity in the 19th century, these complex illustrations did not begin with the Victorian era. Many of the stories we know today date from the 17th century, including two of the most famous collections, the Brothers Grimm’s Tales, and later the Hans Andersen Tales.

Returning to the term “fairy paintings”, it can be defined as the type that presents fairies and scenes from fairy tales, and although this type of drawing appears to be aimed at children, it has attracted many adult artists and prompted them to experiment.

Looking at the fairy tales in depth, we find that they were not directed at children only, or perhaps they were not directed at children in the first place, as the story tells on more than one level. and dark.

  • sleeping Princess

One of the most famous fairy tales painted by more than one artist is the “Sleeping Princess”, but the paintings of the Russian artist Leon Bakst (1866-1928) remain among the most beautiful paintings that fully expressed the story.

Relying on his skills as an illustrator and stage costume designer, Bakst decided to paint 7 panels based on the story and not just one scene. Each panel is rich in exquisite detail that immerses the viewer in the atmosphere of the story.

One of the most beautiful features of the paintings representing scenes from fairy tales is that it is a way of escaping from real life into a world where everything is possible, the artist leaves himself to the fantasy and the escape without any restrictions.

Painting “Sleeping Princess” by Russian artist Leon Bakst (networking sites)

One of the main reasons why the world of Harry Potter has been so captivating to so many people of all ages is that it has so well described the fictional world, the same effect that drawing does, but visually.

Most fairy tales are somewhat similar and follow the same path: a young girl teetering on the cusp of puberty, receives a warning not to stray from the path designated for her, or to risk with a male, and from here the adventure begins, where in each story there is a kind of dark comedy that tries The book softened it to suit the children’s tale.

Another painting “The Sleeping Princess” by Leon Bakst (networking sites)

The magic of fairy tales didn’t stop in the past, but it continues to this day, and it shows in the huge success of shows like “Game of Thrones.” Another without any restrictions on the reality in which we live.

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