#12 “Rapunzel”

Hartman translation: “There was once a husband and a wife who had wished for a child for themselves for naught. Finally, the wife received hope that the good Lord would fulfill her wish. At the back of their house, the people had a small window out of which one could look into a splendid garden, which stood filled with the most beautiful flowers and vegetables. It was surrounded, however, by a high wall, and no one dared to enter, because it belonged to a sorceress who had great power and was feared by all the world.” … Read more

Wilkins analysis and commentary: “Our title, according to Hartman’s footnote #1, tells us “Rapunzel” is a type of “rampion or lamb’s lettuce.” Rampion, or lamb’s lettuce, is an interesting lettuce, as both the tuberous root and the leaves are edible and, in addition, the leaves are shaped like a lambs tongue. Tongues, whether that of a lamb or any other mammal, are necessary for communication. Therefore, the reader can infer from this one-word title, Rapunzel, that a communication between opposites occurs in this tale. In many parts of the world, this herb is referred to as “bellflower.” … Read more

Illustrator note: “Themes of control and resiliency are central to the Rapunzel fairy tale and are dominant in the associated painting as well. I am not an illustrator and so am not really able to generate representative images very successfully. Process is the essence of my technique. This painting is the result of an extended process that started with a vague idea of a head, a tower, and a cascading river of hair. Color is always where I begin.” … Read more