as i’ve posted before, mercer mayer is one of my earliest and most lasting influences. with the beginning of autumn, now seems a fitting time to post his illustrations from “favorite tales from grimm.” this was his third and last book before his artistic decline began to set in. the pictures are highly detailed, exquisitely shaded, and colored. his model appears to once again be his first wife, the regally beautiful marianna mayer.
the themes are befitting the brothers grimm. many of the pictures are slightly frightening or adult in nature. they also appear to be painted on a heavier paper but unfortunately, unlike, “beauty and the beast” there is no art information given in the copyright info. btw~ this book is out of print.
not only is her semi-profile masterfully done, the soft pencil shading of her cheekbones is amazing. her hair, her hands, and the soft realistic baby make this my favorite in the book.
“thousandfurs” is a deeply disturbing tale, better known by it’s french varient, “donkeyskin,” which was made into an incredibly strange, wondrous, and popular film starring catherine deneuve. the princess escapes her incestuous father by disguising herself as an animal & getting a job in another castle. after some cinderella-like parties everything turns out happily ever after.
the expression in her lamp-like eyes is so ambiguous. is it wistful? hopeful? the soft modeling of her nose and mouth and, as always, mayer’s dipiction of the swirling organic trees, leaves, and nature are some of his best.