Saturday, November 12, 2016

Illustration: 'La Belle et la Bête' illustrated by Emilie Etienne

"A forest, a forgotten castle, 
a girl in the dark, A beast that screams ... 
"Once upon a time", tell tales, 
Yes, If you listen carefully, it is always a time ... 
Beauty and the Beast ... "
This beautiful and unusually illustrated French version of Beauty and the Beast hasn't had as much exposure as it should. Although it was released in 2004, no doubt the upcoming Disney live action movie will boost interest in all things Beauty and the Beast, and this should be one of them.

In the dreamy doll depictions of Emilie Etienne, the delicate and three dimensional aspect bring a different perspective to the tale than one usually sees. The photography makes great use of lighting and alternate focus points to add to the dreamlike aspects, giving the sense that there is movement within the images - perhaps a strand of Belle's hair loose in the wind, or that the Beast's eyes are about to blink. It's very effective, even in the few images available online.

The volume itself is also a lovely and artful presentation, ornate and with deep rich colors, perfect for enchanted collections of books.

Although it's not always readily available, this book is worth hunting down to add to your fairy tale library.

Here's the description from Amazon France:
Come indulge in the Beast to save her father, Belle ends up loving the monster which then turn out to be a handsome prince bewitched ... Everyone has one or the other adaptations of the famous tale in the form of film or cartoon. The imagined story by Mrs Beaumont became legendary. It celebrates the "inner beauty" that may exist in being the ugliest, even terrifying, and the value of those who, like Belle, know go beyond appearances. An uplifting story vocation, therefore, owes its success to the subject as to how it is treated: the marvelous is always present, and story structure, with the succession of events in which the heroine must overcome, it takes traditional stories. A beautiful text become a classic. - Pascale Wester 
Emilie Etienne's website, with her gnarled witches and other enchanted folk, can be found HERE

1 comment:

  1. Wow-that cover is phenomenal! Thanks for sharing, never seen these images before!