Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Snow Queen

Here's a picture I haven't looked at for quite a while. In some ways it doesn't really look like one of my pictures.
I hunted it out for our upcoming on-line exhibiton which will go live in about two weeks on the main website.
This scene is from the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.
What an amazing story it is. There is an awful lot in it, which makes it quite unwieldy as a picture book text, but so much of the imagery is so inventive that I had to have a go at it.
My version came out in 1994. The publisher, Andersen Press, will be issuing a new edition with a new cover next year hopefully.
Here's a chunk of the text that this image illustrates.

"She ran on as fast as she could. There then came a whole regiment of
snow-flakes, but they did not fall from above, and they were quite
bright and shining from the Aurora Borealis. The flakes ran along
the ground, and the nearer they came the larger they grew. Gerda well
remembered how large and strange the snow-flakes appeared when she
once saw them through a magnifying-glass; but now they were large and
terrific in another manner--they were all alive. They were the outposts
of the Snow Queen. They had the most wondrous shapes; some looked like
large ugly porcupines; others like snakes knotted together, with their
heads sticking out; and others, again, like small fat bears, with the
hair standing on end: all were of dazzling whiteness--all were living

Little Gerda repeated the Lord's Prayer. The cold was so intense that
she could see her own breath, which came like smoke out of her mouth.
It grew thicker and thicker, and took the form of little angels, that grew
more and more when they touched the earth. All had helms on their heads,
and lances and shields in their hands; they increased in numbers; and
when Gerda had finished the Lord's Prayer, she was surrounded by a whole
They thrust at the horrid snow-flakes with their spears, so that
they flew into a thousand pieces; and little Gerda walked on bravely and
in security. The angels patted her hands and feet; and then she felt the
cold less, and went on quickly towards the palace of the Snow Queen."


leemoyer said...

What a stroke of luck to have come across your gallery here! I am an illustrator myself:www.leemoyer.com

I've been a great fan of your work since I came across Melisande half a lifetime ago, and it's a real treat to get to pass along my admiration for your work.


Should you find yourself in the Pacific Northwest, we'd love to buy you a pint.

I'm excited to see the new edition too.

Marlene said...

I recently re-found your illustrated version at home, I kept t from my primary school; It was funny to see the stamp on it, and just really nice to read it again.