“The Pot Boiling” Fundevogel 1969

David Hockney RA OM CH | Etching and Aquatint | 17.5 x 20cm *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.


There was once a forester who went into the forest to hunt. As he entered the forest he heard a sound of screaming as if a little child were there. He followed the sound and finally came to a high tree. At the top of the tree a little child was sitting. It appeared that whilst the mother had fallen asleep under the tree, a bird of prey had seen the child in her arms, flown down and snatched it away and set it on the high tree.


The forester climbed up, brought the child down, and thought to himself: ‘I will take this boy home with me and bring him up with our daughter Lina.’ He took the little boy home, and the two children grew up together. The forester named the boy he had found on a tree ‘Fundevogel’, because a bird had carried it away. Fundevogel and Lina loved each other dearly that whenever they did not see each other they were very sad.


Now the forester had an old cook, who one evening took two pails and began to fetch water. She did not go once only, but many times to the spring. Lina saw this and said, “Listen, old Sanna, why are you fetching so much water?”

“If you will never repeat it to anyone, I will tell you why.’ 


Lina agreed that she would never repeat it to anyone, and then the cook revealed her plan: “Early tomorrow morning, when the forester is out hunting, I will heat the water, and when it is boiling, I will throw in Fundevogel and will boil him in it.”


Early next morning the forester got up and went out hunting, and when he was gone the children were still in bed. Lina said to Fundevogel: “If you will never leave me, I too will never leave you.”

Fundevogel said: “Neither now, nor ever will I leave you.”


Lina said: “Then I will tell you. Last night, old Sanna carried so many buckets of water into the house that I asked her why she was doing that. She said that if I would promise not to tell anyone, that early tomorrow morning when father was out hunting, she would set the kettle full of water, throw you into it and boil you. We must get up quickly, dress ourselves, and go away together.” The two children got up, dressed themselves quickly, and went away.


When the water in the kettle was boiling, the cook went into the bedroom to fetch Fundevogel and throw him into it. But when she saw their empty beds she realised both the children had gone. She was terribly alarmed and she said to herself: ‘What shall I say now when the forester comes home and sees that the children are gone? They must be followed instantly to get them back here again.’


The cook sent three servants after the children who ran and overtook the children. However, the children were sitting outside the forest, and when they saw from afar the three servants running, Lina said to Fundevogel: “Never leave me, and I will never leave you.” Fundevogel said: “Neither now, nor ever.” Then said Lina: “You become a rose-tree, and I will be the rose upon it.”


When the three servants came to the forest, nothing was there but a rose-tree and one rose on it, but the children were nowhere. Then said they: “There is nothing to be done here,” and they went home and told the cook that they had seen nothing in the forest but a little rose-bush with one rose on it. The old cook scolded them and said: “You simpletons, you should have cut the rose-bush in two and broken off the rose and brought it home with you; Go, and do it at once.”


The servants therefore went out to look for the second time and once again the children saw them coming from a distance. Lina said: “Fundevogel, never leave me, and I will never leave you.” Fundevogel said: “Neither now; nor ever.” Then Lina said: “Then you become a church, and I’ll be the chandelier inside it.”


So when the three servants arrived, nothing was there but a church, with a chandelier in it. They said to each other: “What can we do here? Let us go back home.” When they got home, the cook asked why they had not found the children. They explained that they had found nothing but a church with a chandelier inside it. The cook scolded them again and said: “You fools! Why did you not pull the church to pieces, and bring the chandelier home with you?”


This time the old cook herself got on her legs and went with the three servants in pursuit of the children. The children, however, saw from afar that the three servants were coming, and the cook waddling after them. Then said Lina: “Fundevogel, never leave me, and I will never leave you.” Then said Fundevogel: “Neither now, nor ever.” Then Lina said: “Be a fishpond, and I will be the duck upon it.”


The cook arrived to find the pond and lay down beside it, and was about to take a drink. But the duck swam quickly to her, seized her head in its beak and drew her into the water, and there the old witch was to drown. Then the children went home together and were heartily delighted. If they have not both died, they are living still.

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Availability: In stock