Published in 1961, this etching by David Hockney was made eight years before his celebrated series Illustrations For Six Fairy Tales From The Brothers Grimm. Depicting four scenes from the famous fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin, it is vastly different in style from the latter work, recalling instead other prints from this period including Myself and My Heroes with its inclusion of text such as ‘gold’, ‘prince’ and ‘princess’. Read from left to right the scenes do not appear in the chronological order of the story; Hockney begins with an image of the imp pointing at a pile of gold, explaining to the princess how she must give him her first born child (the prince etched on her swollen belly) if she wants to continue to be able to give the king his gold. The second scene shows the king raising his arms in glee at a pile of gold that was previously straw, the third shows Rumpelstiltskin in the act of spinning the straw into gold while humming a tune to himself, and the final section of the print shows the imp being subsumed by flames and laughing, perhaps in the moment before he famously stamps through the floor and falls to his death. Shown side by side the scenes make up a kind of predella of the kind found in medieval and Renaissance altarpieces.