CORNER 2004

 


Tiger fables. 20 water colours by Uffe Christoffersen (416 Kb PDF)

 

TIGER FABLES

Tiger fables is a common title I have given to my water colours which are inspired by 20 of Jean de la Fontaine’s fables. It is only a small selection from his very great works from the 17th century.

Through a deep study of these selected fables I experienced how profound their content was, and I was moved to interpret them in my own way. And they became paintings…

During my work with the animal fables I have had many experiences in relation to the world we live in. They are partly the great international political problems, and partly the intimate daily situations, which I have experienced in a different way seen in the light of the fables….

To get as close as possible to the original text I have read it in the original language. That is ancient French, but it was lucky for me that Anna Christoffersen made a translation into Danish, as well as writing a short text to each picture. La Fontaine’s fables were originally written in verse and are often very cryptic, almost surrealistic. There are ambiguities in the selection of animals; they can have different symbolic meanings than they have in a Danish context.

Through the numerous drawings and water colours I have done in the last 9 months, I have moved further and further into my own world of fables. Thus the Lion has become the Tiger.

I have consciously chosen certain fables which make up an “animal of prey’s” lifetime, taken together. The water colour “The Tiger” is inspired by the fable called “Le Lion” which is about a lion cub growing up and the other animals’ attitude to it during its growth. The water colours “The Tiger goes to War”, “The Tiger and the Donkey out Hunting”, “The Tiger’s Court” and others have taken their inspiration from “Le lion s’allant en guerre”, “Le lion et l’ane chassant”, “La cour de lion” and are about the grown-up tiger and its relationship to the other animals relative to their different mentalities. Finally there is “The Tiger who got old” (Le lion devenu vieux) which depicts the aging tiger experiencing how the other animals humiliate it.

In all the fables it is constantly a question of who is the strongest, and treats the psychological game between animals….or human beings. However it is not always about who is the largest, as seen in the fables “Le lion et le moucheron” and “Le lion et le rat”. They have inspired the water colours “The tiger and the gadfly” and “The Tiger and the Rat”.

The fables I have used as my inspiration
are the following:
The 20 water colours are called:
Le Lion et L’Ane chassant. The Tiger and the donkey out hunting
La Génisse, La Chèvre, et la Brebis
en société avec le Lion
The Cow, the Goat and the Sheep together with the Tiger
Le Lion, le Singe, et les deux Anes The Tiger, the Monkey and the two Donkeys
Le Lion et le Chasseur The Tiger and the hunter
L’Horoscope The Horoscope
La Lionne et l’Ourse. The Tiger and the She-bear
Les Obsèques de la Lionne. The Tigress’s funeral
Le Lion malade et le Renard. The sick Tiger and the Fox
Les Compagnons d’Ulysse. Odysseus’ Crew
Le Pâtre et le Lion The Shepherdess and the Tiger
Le Lion abattu par l’homme. The Tiger killed by a human
La Cour du Lion. The Tiger’s Court
Le Lion et le Rat. The Tiger and the Rat
L’Ane vêtu de la peau du Lion. The Donkey disguised as a Tiger
Le Lion. The Tiger
Le Lion devenu vieux. The Tiger who grew old
Le Lion, le Loup, et le Renard. The Tiger, the Wolf and the Fox
Le Lion s’allant en guerre. The Tiger who went to war
Le Lion amoureux. The Tiger in Love
Le Lion et le Moucheron. The Tiger and the Gad-fly


The 20 water colours are all the same size: 41 x 31 cm.
Frame: Wood/gold/passe-partout, size; approx. 65 x 50 cm
Price: 3200 DKr including frame.

Fontarèches. 2003

Uffe Christoffersen.

 

 

Tigeren og Æslet på jagt

The Tiger and the donkey out hunting

The Tiger and the donkey out hunting
When hunting, a tiger and a donkey can work together.
The donkey’s heehawing is a great halloo shout.
But you’ve never seen a hunting horn claim that it has brought down the prey

 

 

Koen, Geden og Fåret, i selskab med Tigeren

The Cow, the Goat and the Sheep together with the Tiger

We share like tigers do:
One share to the ruler
One share to the tiger
One share to the strongest
One share to the greedy
So the tiger gets the lot!

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Tigeren, Aben og de to Æsler

The Tiger, the Monkey and the two Donkeys


When the tiger asked around to find out how one should look at self-satisfaction,
the monkey told him about the two donkeys: one praised the other because he was a donkey!
 

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Tigeren og Jægeren

The Tiger og the hunter

A boastful person thinks his best friend is inside a tiger.
He wants revenge. One look at the animal gives him second thoughts.

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Horoskopet 

The Horoscope.

The lonely person who knows that the tiger will be his fate,
Goes to his grave, wounded by a nail, on which there hangs a picture of a tiger.

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Tigerinden og Hunbjørnen

The Tiger and the She-bear

When a mother loses her child it is a shame.
When a tigress loses her cub, it is definitely fate pursuing her.
But look at yourself, - maybe you are a tigress.

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Tigerindens begravelse

The Tigress’s funeral

It is immoral to flatter the dead.
To lie to the mourners about angels singing and salvation is disgusting.
But what should one do – when the widower is a tiger and you are a deer yourself?
 

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Den syge Tiger og Ræven

The sick Tiger and the Fox

The tiger asks the animals to visit his sick bed. The fox does not come.
The other guests’ footprints all lead the same way, into the tiger’s belly.

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Odysseus’ mandskab

Odysseus’ Crew

Odysseus’ crew were changed into animals.
By cunning the hero was able to change them back to their natural shape,
But who says that it is better to be a human than an animal?
Not Odysseus’ crew: they preferred their new shapes.

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Hyrden og Tigeren

The Shepherdess and the Tiger

A shepherd had lost a sheep.
He laid out some wolf traps and laughed arrogantly.
When a tiger fell into a trap he laughed on the other side of his face.

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Tigeren dræbt af mennesket

The Tiger killed by a human

Many pictures depict tiger hunting, always to the human’s advantage.
As the tiger himself says: The subject matter would be completely different if tigers could paint.

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Tigerens hof

The Tiger’s Court

His tigerly highness holds court in his cave full of carcasses.
The bear holds his nose.
The monkey praises the ‘perfume’
The fox has a cold.
The fox survives.

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Tigeren og Rotten

The Tiger and the Rat

A ruler who is good towards even the smallest creature will receive ten-fold in return.
Even a rat can help.

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Æslet klædt i Tigerens skind

The Donkey disguised as a Tiger

A donkey in a tiger skin creates panic.
But when a piece of ear pokes out, a tiger hunt begins…

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Tigeren

The Tiger

Leopard the Sultan is not afraid of his neighbour the tiger. It is just a cub.
He is forgetting that cubs grow up.

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Tigeren som var blevet gammel

The Tiger who grew old

An old tiger must put up with many things.
But when the donkey joins the choir of scornful subjects, it is the final straw!

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Tigeren, Ulven og Ræven

The Tiger, the Wolf and the Fox

When the tiger is sick, the court is happy. They can all strut about.
The wolf remarks the absence of the fox.
The fox arrives and extols the virtues of a healing wolf skin...

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Tigeren som gik i krig

The Tiger who went to war

When the tiger is going to war, everyone must take part.
From the stupidest donkey to the smallest hare.

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Den forelskede Tiger

The Tiger in Love

For love the tiger gets its teeth and claws filed down: then it is gentle
To its beloved….
But also to its executioners.

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Tigeren og Tordenfluen

The Tiger and the Gad-fly

A gad-fly is an irritating creature. It can even drive a tiger mad.
Some people think it even enjoys it. It is a different kettle of fish when it is stuck in the spider’s web...

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You can see the 20 Tiger Fables with more illustrations in separate PDF files under  FABLER