The first Brothers Grimm fairytales were published 200 years ago. They didn't include any pictures and weren't particularly successful in the beginning. But that quickly changed, thanks to attractive illustrations that were added to the stories. This picture is from a volume of fairytales from the end of the 19th century.
This illustration from "Hans in Luck" was created in the 1940s, but actually looks more contemporary than that. It was drawn by Swiss artist Herbert Leupin, who is well-known for his often quite humorous advertising posters. He also illustrated a number of Brothers Grimm tales.
The 1960s were a time for change - even in the area of illustration. Horst Lemke experimented here with "The Town Musicians of Bremen." His drawings were reminiscent of children's art, deliberately avoiding perfectionism. "That way, children are more encouraged to draw themselves," says Pauline Liesen from the Picture Book Museum in Troisdorf, Germany.
Illustrations by Eva Johanna Rubin can also be found in the Grimm exhibition in Troisdorf. Her 1969 portrayal of Little Red Riding Hood resembled those from the 1920s and 30s, with its clear lines, many details and conspicuously distinct colors. Her figures are very cute - even the Big Bad Wolf doesn't quite seem so bad anymore…
Ludwig Emil Grimm's wolf is anything but cute. At the request of his older brother, Wilhelm Grimm, he created various illustrations for the so-called small edition of fairytales in 1825, but remained uncredited in the volume. This picture by Ludwig Emil Grimm is one of the oldest of its kind.
Now we head back to the 1960s, when Lieselotte Schwarz also experimented with her fairytale representations. This picture is from "Sleeping Beauty," but without the accompanying text, it would be difficult to identify the fairytale. Schwarz's drawings have a unique aesthetic that blurs the distinction between children and adults.
In this case, it's easier to identify the story. In comic style, Sabine Wilharm illustrated the story of "The Fisherman and His Wife" (Aufbau publishing house, 2010) - an aspirational wife who makes are series of increasingly outrageous demands. The style may look familiar; Wilharm also illustrated the covers of the German Harry Potter books.
Sibylle Schenker took an entirely different approach to the topic of fairytales. To illustrate one of the most famous Grimm stories, "Hansel and Gretel," she chose a very old silhouette technique. The result was a book with an unusual aesthetic and a new take on an old story (published by Minedition in 2011).
This portrayal of "Hansel and Gretel" dates back to 1891. Volumes like these can be found in the Brothers Grimm House in Steinau, which is where the authors grew up. The building served as a courthouse in the 1970s, but was turned into a museum in 1998.
Decades later, in 2012, Henriette Sauvant created this portrayal of "The Frog Prince." In her drawings, she opened up new worlds and interpreted the fairytale in her own way. "The Frog Prince" was the very first story in the original 1812 edition of Grimm fairytales - but back then it was published without illustrations.
The sheer variety of illustrations over the past two centuries shows how the Grimm's stories have inspired successive generations. But not all of their fairytales are well-known. The Brothers Grimm House is currently staging an exhibition by Klaus Häring. He illustrated all of the tales in the original 1812 edition in comic-book style - including "The Godfather," pictured here.
The Grimm's Fairy Tales are turning 200. The stories have stayed the same over the centuries, but how they've been presented has changed.