“The Glass Mountain Shattered” Old Rinkrank 1969

David Hockney RA OM CH | Etching and Aquatint | 23 x 26.7cm *sold unframed

This is one of 39 etchings that Hockney created for the series ‘Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm’. From the unsigned edition of 400 plus 15 artist’s proofs. The etching plates were hand-drawn by David Hockney in London between May and November 1969, proofed by Maurice Payne and printed by Piet Clement on W.S.Hodgkinson paper. Published by the Petersburg Press in association with the Kasmin Gallery in 1970.



An interpretation of the Brothers Grimm Fairytale.

 Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm (4th January 1785 – 20th September 1863)

Wilhelm Carl Grimm (24th February 1786 – 16th December 1859)

Born in Hanau, Germany, son of Philipp Wilhelm Grimm and Dorothea Grimm.


A King, keen that his daughter should find a suitable suitor to be married, commissioned a glass mountain to be built. The King set the challenge for any man who could cross the glass mountain without falling could have his daughters hand to marriage.


There was a man who very much loved the princess and he enquired of the King if he might be considered as a possible suitor.  “Yes,” said the King; “if you can cross the mountain without falling, you shall have her.” 


The princess, fearing for the safety of the man who she loved so dearly, said she would cross the mountain with him, and would hold him if he were about to fall. So the man and the princess set out together to go over the glass mountain, but when they were about half way up the princess slipped and fell. The glass mountain opened and shut her up inside it. Her betrothed could not see where she had gone because the mountain closed immediately. 


The man wept and lamented much and the King was miserable too. The King decided to find the place where his daughter had fallen and have the mountain broken open in the hopes of getting her out again. However it was impossible to find the place where the mountain had opened and where she had fallen. 


Unbeknown to those grieving at the loss of the princess was that she had fallen quite deep down into the earth into a great cave. An old fellow with a very long grey beard came to meet her, and told her that her life depended on her agreement to become his servant and do everything he asked of her, otherwise he would kill her. The princess agreed and did all he bade her. 


In the mornings the old fellow would take a ladder out of his pocket, set it up against the mountain and climb to the top where he would then draw the ladder up after him. The princess had to cook his dinner, make his bed, and do all his work, and when he came home again he always brought with him a heap of gold and silver. 


As the years passed and the princess had grown quite old, he called her ‘Mother Mansrot’, and she had to call him ‘Old Rinkrank’. One day when he was out, and after she had made his bed and washed all his dishes, she closed all the doors and windows, leaving one little window ajar just to let the light shine in. When Old Rinkrank returned he knocked at his door and demanded: “Mother Mansrot, open the door for me.” “No,” she replied, “Old Rinkrank, I will not open the door for you.” 


Then he said,


“Here stand I, poor Rinkrank,

On my seventeen long shanks,

On my weary, worn-out foot,

Wash my dishes, Mother Mansrot.”


“I have washed your dishes already,” said she. 


Then again he said,


“Here stand I, poor Rinkrank,

On my seventeen long shanks,

On my weary worn-out foot,

Make me my bed, Mother Mansrot.”


“I have made your bed already,” said she. 


Then again he said,


“Here stand I, poor Rinkrank,

On my seventeen long shanks,

On my weary, worn-out foot,

Open the door, Mother Mansrot.”


At her refusal, he ran all round his house to discover that the little window had been left ajar, “I will look in and see what she can be about, and why she will not open the door for me.” 


He tried to peep in the window, but could not get his head through because of his long beard. He decided to put his beard through the open window first, but just as he had got it through, Mother Mansrot pulled the window down with a cord which she had tied to it, and his beard was shut fast. He began to cry most piteously, for it hurt him very much, and he pleaded with her to release his beard.


The princess said she would only open the window if he gave her the ladder which he kept in his pocket and used each morning to ascend the mountain. She fastened a very long ribbon to the window, and then she set up the ladder and ascended the mountain. It was only when she was at the very top of it that she pulled the ribbon to open the window and let Old Rinkrank’s beard free.


She went to her father and told him all that had happened to her. The King rejoiced greatly and with her betrothed, who had remained in the company of the King, they went and dug up the mountain. There they were to find Old Rinkrank inside with all his gold and silver. 


The King ordered that Old Rinkrank should be put to his death and seized all his gold and silver. The princess finally married her betrothed and they both lived happily in great magnificence and joy.



We do offer the Own Art Scheme to purchase artwork. At 0% APR, this is payable in equal instalments over 10 months. Please contact the Gallery for more information.


Availability: In stock