snow white~ nancy ekholm burkert’s medieval marvel

published in 1972 nancy ekholm burkert’s “Snow White” is a marvel. inspired by medieval manuscripts and a pre-raphaelite obsession with detail, she used colored inks and tiny lines to create intricately detailed art. {right click and open in new page to enjoy in a much larger format.}
there was a medieval revival in the 70s. from Rush to Led Zeppelin to Stevie Nicks, people suddenly became enamored with witches, nature, religeous fervor, purity and transgression. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings enjoyed renewed widespread success and Star Wars served up knights, farm boys, pirates and princesses on an epic quest. even the 70s beauty standards were reminicent of the medieval ideal- fitted, yet flowing garments, center parted hair, pencil thin eyebrows, and ornate braids ornamented women everywhere in the western world.

even the areas which appear solid, like Snow White’s dress and blushing cheeks are made up of tiny lines.

Snow White’s mother wishes for a child with skin as white as snow, lips {or cheeks} as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony. their family crest is shown in the windows and will reappear on the map later.

Snow White flees through the forest.

The seven dwarves welcome the industrious Snow White.

map of the three kingdoms and seven mountains the jealous queen must traverse in order to destroy Snow White.

Having failed, the Queen creates the apple of life and death. we never see her supposedly beautiful face, only her workroom. poisoned mushrooms, mandrake roots, and tarot cards representing change and death lay on her table.

The young prince from one of the three kingdoms shown on the map asks to take Snow White to his home. on the journey, one of her carriers stumble, causing the piece of poisoned apple to be expelled. the stories are pretty vague about exactly what happens. it’s safe to say she vomits. and for all the twittering about how the prince loves her static beauty, he apparently is still totally in love with her once she’s awake with puke-face.

here’s where the story just completely cements its awesomeness: the evil queen gets an invite to the neighboring prince’s wedding. according to her mirror his bride is the new “fairest.” upon arriving, she discovers- “surprise!” it’s Snow White, who she’s tried to kill three times. but Snow White is finally older and wiser. the queen is clapped in a pair of heated iron shoes and forced to dance until she dies. Snow White ceases to be a victim, destroys her enemy, and moves from a world of darkness into light. no more forgiveness. wow.
Snow White, along with mercer mayer’s Beauty and the Beast was one of favorite fairy tales and it has continued to inform my life.

please check out we too were children for an excellent nancy ekholm burkert biography and more art.

One Comment Add yours

  1. kulepiscean says:

    Hello, just found your blog after searching Google images for Nancy Eckhom Birkett. I’ll be sharing on Google+. Thank you!

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