art by Sulamith Wulfing
(as reviewed by
Tess the webmistress on Amazon.com)
November 20, 2000
beautiful and evocative.
This slim little
volume contains some of the loveliest of Sulamith Wulfing's ethereal
paintings. I also own "Fairy Tales" and have seen
"Motherhood," but this one remains my favorite.
~ About The Art ~
and exquisitely colored artwork can give an initial impression of
children's-book illustration (and I believe some of it was), with
little to recommend it beyond mere decorative prettiness; but these
subtly sensual, often eerie or even disturbing images tend to linger
in the memory in a way that is difficult to explain.
Let me stress that
I'm not ordinarily a fan of "juvenile art" or even art
depicting children, as the genre mostly tends towards a tiresome and
vapid sweetness, but Wulfing's work is something altogether
different. For all its fanciful or fairy-tale subject matter, it can
strike an occasional note of unsettling strangeness, producing that
peculiar shiver at the sight of innocence just brushed by a breath of darkness.
For me, her work
has the quality of some evocative half-forgotten dream with a message
of mysterious personal importance. It's small wonder that Stevie
Nicks credited the inspiration for many of her songs to the work of
Sulamith Wulfing; it's ideal meditation material for calling forth
the fey muses from the cobwebby attic or thorny forest of your imagination.
~ About the Book ~
There are 26 color
pictures in all. Each work of art fills the righthand page, while a
classic love quote (Tennyson, Shelley, Wordsworth, etc.) is printed
on the page to the left. The original titles (in English, anyway) of
the paintings are as follows:
In the Temple
Saint and her Jester
Hour of Visions
The Chosen One
Flush of Youth
To Meet Another
Before the Candlestick
Song of Love
Flower of Youth
One of my
favorites is "Veil:" A fair girl with big melancholy eyes
and a fantastically, intricately patterned dress sits on a throne in
a curtained room, a wreath of large flowers on her head, a sheer
white veil flowing down on either side of her. There is a candle on
each arm of the throne, the one to her right burned out, the one to
her left still lit, with an elongated flame; both strangely shaped by
the halted streams of melted wax... How long has she been waiting
there, and why?
is "Big Moon," truly a species of eldritch erotica: a large
full moon makes a pale-rosy-golden circle of light behind a bank of
wildflowers, while a slender blond maiden lies half-reclined on the
ground, her eyes closed, her long hands in her lap, her gown slipping
down her shoulders to leave her small breasts bare. A tiny mouse
wearing a crown sits next to her, playing the panpipes.
recommend this book. I only wish that more of Sulamith Wulfing's
artwork was available in print form, or that larger and more complete
books would be published with collections of her paintings.