The state of Hessen acquired David Hockney's cycle of works "Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm" in 2009.

He had read all 220 Brothers Grimm fairy tales and for a long time, conceived the wish to illustrate the fairy tales and make a book out of them. Inspired by the vernacular texts, David Hockney, one of the most important English artists of our time, drew his illustrations directly on individual copper plates. So emerged, in 1969, the "Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm" cycle, comprising of 39 etchings, which  would be displayed in a special exhibition at the Museum Wiesbaden by the museum in conjuction with Forum Wissenschaft + Kunst.

David Hockney initially picked out 12 very different fairy tales, but ended up deciding only to use 6 of them for his illustrations: "Rumpelstilzchen", "Rapunzel", "Fundevogel", "Von einem, der auszog, das Fürchten zu lernen", "Das Meerhäschen" and "Oll Rink Rank". He gave each of these fairy tales a pictorial interpretation. They are not simply translations of the literary templates, moreover, he created images that emphasize a particular mood or specific detail of the corresponding text. Hockney was impressed by how the Brothers Grimm had recorded vernacular texts and given the fairy tales the voices of their storytellers. He was especially fascinated by one of the Brothers Grimm's narrators, Dorothea Viehmann, whose portrait he prepended to the cycle.

Aware that he wanted to transform age-old narrations, Hockney let his illustrations be inspired by various models. He travelled the Rhineland and concerned himself with Renaissance painters. Despite this, no historistic images emerged; his contemporary and always humorous approach to the fairy tales is reflected much more clearly in the elaborate pictorial inventions of the illustrations.

The exhibition is taking place in the Museum Wiesbaden, in collaboration with Forum Wissenchaft + Kunst.

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