Monday, 19 November 2012

Le Lac des Cygnes

Continuing my trend of posts about books (especially good-looking ones), I thought I would share some photos of a beautiful book I was given as a present, following my boyfriend's return from France.

Intended to be a children's book, Le Lac des Cygnets relates the story of the Tchaikovsky ballet, Swan Lake, through a series of ethereal illustrations by Charlotte Gastaut.  

The illustrations are a combination of pictures drawn straight on to the page and stencil-like pages which reverse to become a slightly different image when the page is turned.

Combining sweet beauty with a marginal darkness - too many feathers, too much movement in amongst the trees - Gastaut captures the essence of most fairy tales and the traditional ballets, a little coating of black salt around a crystal glass.  

Marvelling at the beauty of the book and the story which it tells responds to the desire many English girls possess for wanting to be French.  It is irrepressibly gorgeous, yet simultaneously simplified and the timelessness of the tale is as easily glamourous as the perfect ballerina's bun.  It's like The Sartorialist for  ballet-obsessed children. 


1 comment: