MY CHOICE WORKS SELECTED BY PAULA REGO FROM THE BRITISH COUNCIL COLLECTION
'THE PRINCESS IN HER TOWER' FROM ILLUSTRATIONS FOR SIX FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM 19691969 David Hockney (1937 − )
In the late 1960s Hockney began preparations for the double portrait of Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy (Tate Collection www.tate.org.uk), but these were put on hold for most of 1969 as he was taken up with one of his most ambitious printmaking projects: Illustrations for Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm. Working on illustrations of the world-famous tales collected by the German scholars and folklorists, Jakob Ludwig Karl (1778-1865) and Wilhelm Karl (1787-1859) Grimm, enabled Hockney to give full rein to his imagination. He had read all of the stories, some three hundred and fifty in total, and was attracted by the simple direct style of the writing. He had already made etchings based on the Rumpelstiltzhen story in 1961 and again in 1962, and the for the new series he planned to illustrate twelve of the tales, but finally settled on just six titles: The Little Sea Hare, Fundevogel, Rapunzel, The Boy who left Home to learn Fear, Old Rink Rank, and Rumpelstiltzhen. In all he made over 80 etchings from which 39 were published by Petersburg Press in both book and loose-leaf portfolio editions in 1970.
As with the Cavafy etchings, he largely worked directly on to the copper plates so the drawing had a more spontaneous feel. He only occasionally made preliminary drawings in order to try out ideas, and for technical reasons, for the figures in both The boy hidden in an egg and The boy hidden in a fish, two illustrations for the tale of The Little Sea Hare.
The etchings were more complex than his earlier prints and most notable was his use of the traditional engraving technique of cross-hatching which, in addition to aquatint, he used for both areas of tone and in creating dense blacks. Though it was the first time he had employed the technique for his own prints, he had been aware of it from having studied the Hogarth etchings for his Rake’s Progressalmost ten years earlier.
Hockney found this a strange sexual story, about a princess who wants a husband, but does not want a husband. Sometimes the artist interpreted the tale as a desire for a child, in the final plate he alters the narrative to fit with his interpretation. A sea-hare is a mythical creature.
In this tale a princess was endowed with the ability to see above and below the earth by looking through the windows of a tower. She declared she would only marry the man she could not see from her tower. Many men came and all failed; until the 100th man accepted the challenge. With the help of a raven he hid in an egg but was seen; with the help of a fish he hid in its belly but was seen. Finally after having removed a thorn from a fox’s paw, the fox helped the young man turn into a little sea hare. The little sea hare hid under the princess’s hair and when she looked from the tower windows he could not be seen. They married and after the wedding the young man became ruler of the kingdom.
- Accession Number P1684/2
- Dimensions 44.7 X 32.3 CM
- Media ETCHING AND AQUATINT
An intaglio printmaking process and a method of achieving tone by etching a plate covered with resin dust. The acid corrodes the unprotected metal leaving only the surface protected by a speck of dust. When inked the plate will print a tone of black through to very pale grey depending on the length of time it was immersed in the acid. Its name derives from the finished print resembling a watercolour, and is a tonal rather than a linear work.
The depiction of shapes and forms on a flat surface chiefly by means of lines although colour and shading may also be included. Materials most commonly used are pencil, ink, crayon, charcoal, chalk and pastel, although other materials, including paint, can be used in combination.
An intaglio process whereby lines are cut into a metal or wood plate using an engraving tool (a burin), which is pushed in front of the hand to achieve a sharp controlled incision capable of great delicacy. This technique requires a great deal of control and is not suited to spontaneous mark-making.
A set of pictures (as drawings, photographs or prints) either bound in book form or loose in a folder. These can be by the same artist or individual works by a selection of artists. The term also refers to the folder which holds the set.
- UK, Canterbury, Sidney Cooper Gallery
- Portugal, Coimbra, Univesidade de Coimbra, Casa de Caldeiras
- Portugal, Edp Foundation
- Portugal, Cascais, Casa Das Historias
- Korea, Seoul, National University Museum
- Lithuania, Siauliai, Dailes Galerija
- Lithuania, Klaipeda, Klaipeda Exhibition House
- Lithuania, Kaunas, Ciulrionis Museum
- Greece, Athens, Benaki Museum
- Chile, Santiago, Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes
- Colombia, Bogota, Mambo
- Italy, Rome, Istituzione Nazionale Per La Grafica
- France, Forcalquier, Couvent Des Cordeliers
- Ukraine, Odessa, Museum Of Western And Eastern Art
- Ukraine, Lviv, The Picture Gallery
- USA, Long Beach, University Art Museum
- Philippines, Manila, Metropolitan Museum
- Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Galeri Wan
- Malaysia, Penang, University Art Museum
- Belgium, Belgium
- Bulgaria, Bulgaria
- Egypt, Egypt
- Greece, British Council Office - Cyprus
- Germany, West Germany
- Finland, Finland
- Czechoslovakia, Czechoslovakia