Pictures without Stories

Do you remember the time before you could read, paging through books and looking at the pictures?  And once you could read, not really believing that what was written down was  the full story?  Some pictures are so evocative and mysterious I never felt convinced that I now knew all their secrets.


I’ve been gathering such images and here are some of my favourites.   Firstly there is the photographic artist Madalina Iordache-Levey. This image is called “The Mysterious Disappearance of Miss Peregrinne Ploot:


I wish I knew what happened here.  Do you have any idea?  Something to do with that bird?   And here is another one, simply called “A fairy tale”:


This one with the little girl reading reminds me strongly of Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series, that I also wrote about here in a post about Cornelia Funk’s Illustration and here in a post about the last book in that series, “Inkdeath”. I wonder what story she is reading about there.  Is she a fairy reading about our world, or a little girl being changed by a fairy tale?

This photograph is by South African photographer Clarissa Leahy.  It reminds me  of Margaret Mahy’s short story “The Highest Traycloth”. That is a description of a young girl who is fed up with her school sowing project – an embroidered tray cloth – and takes on a challenge to climb the neighbourhood’s unclimbable tree.  She ends up by fastening her despised tray cloth to the very top of the tree as proof that she has climbed it.


Here are some image by James C Christiansen. Now with some of these, I am sure they do have a story attached – but the pages that the images are embedded in give no clue as to their original context.  So we are left to wonder.  This one is called “False Magic”:


The title makes me think of Paul Gallico’s book “The Man who was Magic” – what happens when a real worker of magic arrives in a town in which all the magicians are tricksters.

And here is the most wonderful Ogre, with his Toad.  I wonder if he had always been an Ogre, or if he is enchanted?  Could he possibly be The Beast from Beauty and the Beast?:


Christiansen’s style reminds me a bit of Errol Le Cain –  although its mostly the fine detail and the rich colours.  The style is really quite different.  I wrote a post about Le Cain here where you can see his illustrations for Cindrella and here where I wrote about Le Cain’s version of Sleeping Beaty – see what you think.

And my last example – I simply love this one.  Its titled “En Route to New Adventure”.  This cat takes no prisoners 🙂  Its from yokviv’s photostream on flickr


Do you know the stories that these pictures tell?  Have you found any pictures that tell stories?  Post some links!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Hamish Hamilton Book of Princesses « Masha
  2. Bojana Dimitrovski
    May 16, 2009 @ 11:30:29

    I just discovered you blog by chance, what a treasure trove of information!:) Thank you for sharing all of this, I will come back for sure…

  3. Nymeth
    May 26, 2009 @ 23:12:22

    I absolutely love this post! I could stare at these imagines and imagine their stories for hours. I loved it when that happens 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. mashadutoit
    May 27, 2009 @ 10:52:11

    yes exactly. Glad you enjoy the pictures too…
    Its another excuse for me to procrastinate and find even more of them online 😀

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