Thousandfurs

For the Grimms art project

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My first work for this project is a painterly interpretation of the tale Thousandfurs. My colour palette was determined by this photo. In brief Thousandfurs is a story about a king besotted by his golden haired wife. Grief strikes the king though when his beloved wife dies. But the story takes an uncomfortable twist when the king suddenly notices how beautiful his golden haired daughter is and decides he wants to marry her. She tries to put him off by setting him extraordinary tasks to fulfill one of which is to have a coat made for her featuring 1000 different furs. Amazingly the king fulfills this quest and unsurprisingly the girl makes a run for it and escapes the castle. Only to be found by the king and his men, but when she was found she was wrapped in this coat of 1000 furs and at first the king thinks she is an odd kind of animal.

When it is discovered that she is in fact a girl and not some fascinating creature she is sent to work in the castle kitchen (the king did not recognise her as she was so grubby). As time goes by the king throws a number of balls in the castle and the girl sneaks out of the kitchen, dresses in fine ball gowns and goes to dance with the king. Strangely enough the king doesn’t recognise his daughter as he dances with her. He thinks she is the most beautiful thing, but like Cinderella she disappears before he can make his move. She goes back to the kitchen and makes the king some soup as instructed. He thinks the soup is the most divine he has tasted and demands to meet the person responsible for the soup. But dressed in the furs he does not see that she is the girl he has just danced with.

This soup delivery happens a number of times, as with any good fairy story, and each time she puts a golden trinket in his soup which bemused the king. On one occasion the king slipped a ring on the girls finger when they were dancing with out her realising and when she delivered the soup that evening the king saw the ring on her finger a knew that under that coat of fur was the beautiful maiden he had just danced with. He pulled of the fur coat and declared he would marry her.

Myself nor the author of this collection of tales, was all too keen on the ending of this tale of incest and he presented another ending. In short the alternative ending had the king getting his arms and legs cut off, which I won’t go into how this happened, but his bodyless arms did try to strangle the fair maiden’s husband until she saved the day, which is a much better ending in my opinion.

If you would like to check out how the painting is progressing have a look on the Grimms Project section of this blog

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