The LAST of my “Hungarian Folktales” inspired illustrations, ready for my May solo exhibition.
I introduce the Bandit Leader, from a folktale called “The Prince of the Three Wild Beasts”. In the tale, as the old King lays dying, he makes his son promise that he will not marry until he finds a suitable husband for his younger sister. The princess however is not an overall sympathetic character, and no suitors arrive to ask for her hand. Fed up the prince announces he is going to go adventuring and see the world. Upon her requests, the prince takes his sister with him. On the road they are accosted by a troupe of bandits, but the prince slays them all with ease – he spares the leader, who leads them to his castle in the woods. Here the Bandit Leader is locked in a room as a prisoner – but not before the princess falls for his good looks. Through the keyhole he wins her heart with beguiling promises and flattery, and convinces her to try and kill her brother. However, with his kind heart the prince wins the unfailing loyalty of the three wild beasts sent to kill him, who at the end of the tale tear the Bandit Leader to shreds for attempting to murder their master. I wanted to depict my Bandit as a handsome, though dangerous faced young man.
After completing 30 folktale illustrations, (25 within the past four months - as well as various other side projects), I feel I have done this theme justice, and am ready to move on to a new body of work.