How to Tell a Fairy Tale With Images: Narrative Theories and French Paintings from the Early Nineteenth Century


  • Margriet Hoogvliet


Mots-clés :

Narrative images, paintings of fairy tales, nineteenth century, François Fleury Richard (1777-1852), Jean-Antoine Laurent (1763-1832)


This article first discusses theoretical approaches to the question of pictorial narrative, and argues that images can generate a narrative, but do so by different means than texts. Consequently, visual narratives should not be analysed using the same criteria as developed for textual narratives. Based on this idea, the article further analyses two French paintings from the early nineteenth century that represent a fairy tale by visual means alone, and which can be considered as paintings that tell a fairy tale: Petit Chaperon rouge (c. 1820) by Fleury François Richard, and Peau d’âne (1819) by Jean‐Antoine Laurent.

Biographie de l'auteur-e

Margriet Hoogvliet

After obtaining two master degrees (French Language and Literature, and Art History), Margriet Hoogvliet completed in 1999 a doctorate thesis on text and image relations in Medieval and early modern maps of the world, which was awarded with the predicate "cum laude". Her thesis was published in 2007 by Brepols with the title Pictura et scriptura: textes, images et herméneutique des mappa mundi (XIIIe-XVIe siècles)". During the past years Margriet Hoogvliet has worked as a lecturer in French at several universities in the Netherlands, and she has worked as a postdoctoral researcher on a project that was concerned with text and image relations in early modern French political communication. Part of the output of this project was the edition of the book "/i>Multi-Media Compositions from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period" (2004). She is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher for the ERC-funded project "Holy Writ and Lay Readers: A Social History of Vernacular Bible Translations in the Late Middle Ages".




Comment citer

Hoogvliet, M. (2010) « How to Tell a Fairy Tale With Images: Narrative Theories and French Paintings from the Early Nineteenth Century », RELIEF - Revue électronique de littérature française, 4(2), p. 198-212. doi: 10.18352/relief.545.



II. Nouvelles fonctions de l’illustration pendant le long XIXe siècle