David Hockney and The Grimms Fairy Tales Etchings

16 September 2014

David Hockney had been thinking about making a set of etchings for the Grimms Fairy Tales since the early 1960′s. After reading all of the 200 tales he eventually decided that six tales would produce enough images for the suite of etchings. Hockney travelled to The Rhine in 1968 to make preliminary sketches and etched the plates in London between May and November 1969. The prints were published in 1970.

 Set of etchings for the Grimms Fairy Tales

In his biography of Hockney, Marco Livingstone writes, ‘Hockney chose to illustrate the stories not in the usual terms of dramatic narrative ┬ábut rather as a succession of memorable static images. To achieve this end, he has freely borrowed from the work of other artists. The enchantress in the Rapunzel story (see below) is pictured in the pose of a Virgin and Child by Bosch, though severely deformed by age and ugliness. It is vital to recognise the blackly humorous mutation of the Virgin and Child theme, for in the identification of the enchantress as a virgin lies Hockney’s interpretation of the story: the woman is so ugly that no one would have sex with her, and that is why she demands the neighbours child for herself.’

David Hockney now considers his Grimms Fairy Tale etchings as one of his major successes. He made 39 images for the six fairy tales and we are pleased to have these original etchings, including a number of signed works, available for sale.

Please click here to view.