The Earliest Illustrations for Little Red Riding Hood Cover Image
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The Earliest Illustrations for Little Red Riding Hood

Author(s): Katerina Gadjeva
Subject(s): Fine Arts / Performing Arts, Visual Arts
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: Even now, more than three hundred years after its first edition, Little Red Riding Hood is a title that more often than not comes to mind of both young and old when it comes to fairytales. Fairytales are not only interesting and instructive stories for children, but also ‘the simplest and purest expressions of the collective unconscious’ (Marie-Louise von Franz). Their analysis is further complicated due to the illustrations that accompany the text and inevitably expand its meaning. The images interpret the literary content and adapt it to a particular audience and a specific cultural situation. Apart from the most important, i.e. the actions of the main character, the pictures also reveal his or her emotions, which are usually not mentioned in the text. In addition, the images abound in seemingly insignificant details that may be crucial to the meaning of the story: the age of the Red Riding Hood, her clothes, the interior of her grandmother’s house, etc. It is important to note, that the first edition (1697) of the Charles Perrault’s tales, including Little Red Riding Hood, where they published their revised version of the same story, was illustrated, just like the earlier books by the Grimm Brothers (1819, 1825). The study of the earliest illustrations of the well-known fairytale is particularly important, as they are a result of the joint work of talented and prominent artists and the writers themselves who have had their own requirements for which parts of the text should be interpreted visually. These images have become a model for generations of illustrators, working in the late nineteenth century and in the next millennium.

  • Issue Year: 2019
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 3-10
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Bulgarian