Leaf & Tree

magic of a peculiar kind

Forgotten Fairy Tales

Adobe Illustrator, screen print and ink on paper


Illustrations of censored or omitted scenes from three well-known fairy tales. Fairy tales are often seen as children’s stories, but they were originally intended for adults. They offered fantasy and inspiration, commented on social concerns, and taught people about the world.

Violence was often a key factor in many of these tales, such as Aschenputtel’s (or Cinderella’s) step-sisters cutting off their toes and heels in order to fit the slipper. There is the sea witch in The Little Mermaid who cuts off the mermaid’s tongue in payment for legs. And the King in an older version of Sleeping Beauty (Sun, Moon, and Talia) rapes the girl while she slumbers in her enchanted sleep.

These illustrations serve as a reminder of what the stories have lost over the years, not just in violence, but in value. Fairy tales teach us that there exists both light and dark; that there is evil but it can be overcome; they teach us how to live.

  • 13 November 2013
  • 322