In a pose reminiscent of one of the figures in Carpaccio’s Two Venetian Ladies, a woman sits with her arm propped on a low wall or balcony. Her expression is melancholy and a tear escapes from her right eye as she listens to the small man holding his arms out to her in a beseeching pose. An incongruous still life of fruit sits on the wall, complementing the high emotion of the scene in its calm and minimalism and perhaps representing fertility. The scene is from ‘Rumpelstilzchen’, one of the most famous stories collected by the Brothers Grimm, and one of six illustrated by David Hockney in his 1969 series of prints dedicated to the classic fairy tales. Originally published as a signed edition of 100, the prints also became a book which was represented by Oxford University Press and has sold over 150,000 copies. Hockney was immediately attracted to the fairytales as subject matter, and his elegant monochrome etching style is perfectly suited to the rich scenes and characters enfolded in these folk tales. Here we see him delighting in the composition of the scene, drawing on art historical references to add multiple layers to this childhood fable that, like many of the Grimm stories, has a sinister edge.