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The Castle of the Fly by Himmapaan The Castle of the Fly by Himmapaan
ĎIím Rumbling Thunder! Iíll tumble you under! Iím Bear Thicklegs!í

Illustration for The Castle of the Fly, from Myths and Legends of Russia, collected by Aleksandr Afanas'ev and translated by Norbert Guterman; published by The Folio Society: [link]

I found this short tale irresistible to illustrate. A fly builds a castle in which he is joined respectively by a louse, a flea, a mosquito, a mouse, a lizard, a fox, a hare and a wolf. The tale ends abruptly with the arrival of the bear, who promptly smashes the castle asunder.

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Copyright Niroot Puttapipat and The Folio Society, 2009
:icondonotuseplz::iconmyartplz:
Please do not reproduce without permission. Thank you.
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:iconhomola:
Homola Featured By Owner Edited Apr 13, 2015
This bear is evil. Because he did not think about others. He destroyed the house these animals. One should not think that the bear is an allegory of Russia / USSR. I'm from Russia , yes.
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:iconpenguinity:
Penguinity Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2015   General Artist
This is magical!
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:iconlumen333:
Lumen333 Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
You are a very talented artist! Your works are wonderful! And thank you for the work on the theme of Russian fairy tales, it is so nice! Teremok (The Castle of the Fly) and the Finist especially good!
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:iconrandy-j-cushman:
Randy-J-Cushman Featured By Owner May 1, 2014  Professional General Artist
beautiful!
Reply
:iconcloutierj:
cloutierj Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013
beautiful! I love the mix of roots and twigs and architecture, and the delicacy and clarity contrasted with the forcefulness of the bear. (I think the story is just for fun - the sort of thing you tell the kids, getting more and more detailed, and ending with a smash.)
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:iconrainydaycloud:
RainyDayCloud Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
It's so fantastical and wonderful! I love the silhouettes, it's so interesting!
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:iconimvad:
imVad Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
The Castle of the Fly = Теремок?! Звиздец)
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:iconlaura-bosley:
Laura-Bosley Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
This is beautiful!
Reply
:iconvashley:
vashley Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I just love how gigantic the bear is compared to all the other critters. this is striking work
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:iconmyxwholexworld:
myXwholeXworld Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012
Awesome!!
Reply
:iconmarecaca:
marecaca Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
yeha!! i like it very much!
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:iconadkind:
adkind Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2011  Professional General Artist
good
real good!
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:iconkeitar:
keitar Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011
Теремок)
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:iconrugely:
Rugely Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2011  Professional General Artist
I have never read it, so it could be exactly as described, but it just seems so imaginative and unique. It illustrates a world unique to the story. It's such a small thing, but I also love the difference in tone from that of the bear to that of the ground. Great work :)
Reply
:iconnildrin:
Nildrin Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I really like the shadow puppet aspect of your work; I think that I'd have been delighted as a child to have such illustrations to a tale ^^

It reminds me a lot of Michel Ocelot's "Princes and Princesses", a French animation movie all made in shadow puppets. You can watch it on Youtube if I remember well.
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!

I love Michel Ocelot's work; he's one of my favourite animators. It was quite a pleasant shock to me when I discovered him how much we coincided in ideas; not just in the silhouette aspect but in terms of themes and visual references.
Reply
:iconnildrin:
Nildrin Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Yup, I felt it in your work =)
I'm glad to see that he has some recognition abroad; he really deserves it!
I have been wandering a little in your gallery, too, and I really appreciate the style you have, out of time, in a way...
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:iconsomethin-else:
somethin-else Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wow, very different! In a great way of course :)
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:iconshwalaway8mypen:
shwalaway8mypen Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2011
incredible
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:iconath-armherst:
ATh-Armherst Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
this is beautiful!! lots of little details from the shadows :D very cool
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:iconmerrymeeper:
MerryMeeper Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010
I adore your work! This piece is so charming and magical.
Reply
:iconheidiceleghin:
HeidiCeleghin Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
This is a beautiful illustration. The composition and technical mastery are superb. Your artwork is truly an inspiration!
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much.
Reply
:iconfradga:
Fradga Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know nothing to help you interpret this curious story but your image is amazing. The castle looks so fragile opposite to the bear.
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you.
Reply
:iconqchiapetp:
qchiapetp Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
The fly, louse, flea, mosquito, mouse, lizard, fox, hare and wolf are generally considered to be pests. Maybe the bear is Russia being righteous by destroying the undesirable pests. :?
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:iconsakyachan:
sakyachan Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2010
great idea xDDDD :heart:
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:iconmegeso:
Megeso Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2010
I love how bold it is with just the black and the white. Nice work!
Reply
:iconmrsbrushwood:
MrsBrushwood Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
I'll just say - wow! I didn't know this tale, and it really seems interesting. I really adore the trees and bushes in this pic, they are so detailed and nicely build-in the castle. Beautiful :).
Reply
:iconmr-nick:
mr-nick Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Great stuff, the medium/style really lends itself to thesubject matter. It reminds me of the style of Anton Pieck (a Dutch artist you might know from illustration in 50's 60's Dickens editions)

cheers and merry Christmas,

Nick
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:iconnebulaemporium:
nebulaemporium Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2009
i quite love the delicacy and the combination of tree branches and castle spires. the sihouetting is so effective and lovely in telling the story. it's incredible how you've combined the beauty of complex and simple elements to make something magical.
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:iconsteelehearts:
steelehearts Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
i read this story in translation as 'the little clay hut'. the hut was a small clay pot, in which the fly takes shelter, followed by a gnat, a mouse, a rabbit, a fox (there were a couple of others, i forget exactly which animals), and yes, ultimately the bear comes and sits on the pot, smashing it. :D
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah, how very interesting that it's a clay hut in that version! :D
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:iconbrutus-illustrator:
Brutus-Illustrator Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2009
Beautiful work. The Structure is amazing.:)
Reply
:icondkl78594:
dkl78594 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2009   Photographer
Great work of art! Thanks for sharing. :)
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:iconomnicogito:
Omnicogito Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your works are simply brilliant! Did you write the descrip?
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for your kind words.
Yes, indeed, I did write it. Why else would it be here? :giggle:
Reply
:iconsomethingimaginative:
national pride? look how easily we can crush everyone else
Reply
:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I think perhaps it is not something as fierce as that. In fact, I'm not inclined to think it a political thing at all. ~Katira and I touched on a few points in our little discussion among the comments.

Ultimately, of course, there may be no allegory of any kind. I was just intrigued by the brevity and unusual character of the tale. :)
Reply
:iconcidaq:
cidaq Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2009
It's always tempting to read a lot into this kind of fairy tales. To attempt an interpretation, it would be good to know from which time this tale originates (can be difficult with this kind of folk tales). As far as I'm informed, it has only been in most recent history that the russians themselves assumed the bear as a symbol for their country.

Wonderfull picture, by the way :)
Reply
:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, indeed. :nod: ~Katira and I touched on those points, too, in our little discussion among the comments. I don't tend to read too much in these tales myself. Mistaken assumptions are sometimes made from too zealous an interpretation of what was never meant to be otherwise than as they appear. :giggle:

Thank you!
Reply
:iconlynx-catgirl:
Lynx-Catgirl Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Hello there.. I'm from Moscow and I can say that we, russians, do not assosiate ourselves with bear... We have 2-headed eagle as a symbol of the country...

And the tale is a folklore and the main point of it - think of the others (what the bear did not do) and remember of your own possibilities and ... size :D
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:icon3ahia:
3ahia Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2009
beautiful~!!
Reply
:iconcabepfir:
cabepfir Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I think there is always a sense behind the literal one, in works from folklore and myth - or maybe, we can just always extract a figurative sense from tales.
Anyway I don't know enough about Russian folklore to improvise an interpretation :D

Your level of detail is stunning, as always.
All the best!
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
~Katira and I had an interesting little discussion about this among the comments. :D
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:iconowensangel10:
owensangel10 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Did you do this in ink?
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:iconhimmapaan:
Himmapaan Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, as with all the other silhouette illustrations. :)
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:iconowensangel10:
owensangel10 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks for your reply!
Reply
:iconowensangel10:
owensangel10 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
This is indeed an allegory...The Bear...The Great USSR, vs. the Soviet block countries? Not Sure, just a guess. Your work is so amazing...I love every piece. Thanks for the story and intreptation(s), plus your amazing art work!
Reply
:iconfantazmagorix:
Fantazmagorix Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2009
great pic! It is weird that the bear should be the villian, normally the wolf fills that role.
Reply
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