French School, 19th Century
French School, 19th Century

An encounter in the forest from The Magic Tinderbox

Details
French School, 19th Century
An encounter in the forest from The Magic Tinderbox
oil on panel
9 x 12 in. (22.8 x 30.5 cm.)

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Lot Essay

This picture depicts the opening encounter of Hans Christian Andersen's The Magic Tinderbox where a penniless soldier returning from war encounters a witch in the forest, who asks him to find her grandfather's tinderbox. The box is hidden in the hollow of a tree where the soldier finds three chambers filled with coins guarded by three large dogs. After filling his pockets with money the soldier returns to the witch, and when she demands the tinderbox without giving him a reason the soldier cuts her head off.

The magic tinderbox brings the soldier wealth and control of the three dogs as well as an encounter with a beautiful princess kept hidden in a tower who is carried to the soldier's house in her sleep by the dogs.
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