Monday, September 19, 2016

Cristiana Radu - Povestea lui Harap Alb

In 2012 Vellant Publishing House launched the collection “Pasarea maiastra” (The Magic bird), a project that aims to bring to the attention of readers traditional Romanian fairy tales visually reinterpreted by contemporary Romanian artists. The first installment of the collection is "Povestea lui Harap alb" (The Story of Harap Alb") by Ion Creangă, which takes place in nearly 80 pages beautifully illustrated by Cristiana Radu.

Based on traditional themes found in Romanian folklore, it was recorded and reworked in 1877 by writer Ion Creangă, becoming one of his main contributions to fantasy and Romanian literature. The narrative centers on an eponymous prince traveling into a faraway land whose throne he has inherited, showing him being made into a slave by the treacherous Bald Man and eventually redeeming himself through acts of bravery. The plot introduces intricate symbolism, notably illustrated by the secondary characters. Among these are the helpful and sage old woman Holy Sunday, the tyrannical Red Emperor, and a band of five monstrous characters who provide the prince with serendipitous assistance: Frosty, Hungry, Thirsty, Lenghty, One Eyed.

Cristiana Radu has done justice to this traditional Romanian folklore tale through the magic of her pencil  and lovely water color drawings, a feast for the eyes and a must have collectible.


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