"La Barbe Bleue" (1913)



The Christmas Edition of The Illustrated London News (1913)


Illustration by Kay Nielsen



When first published in the Christmas Edition of The Illustrated London News, this image was associated with the

following text:


Once there lived a man who, though very rich, unfortunately had a blue beard,

which made him so ugly and terrible that every woman shunned hum. Now a

lady of quality who dwelt near had two fair daughters, and Bluebeard asked for

one of them in marriage. Neither wished to wed a man with a blue beard, and

what they misliked the more was that he had already married several wives, and

none knew what had become of them. Nevertheless, Bluebeard entertained them

so hospitably that at length the younger began to find that his beard was not so

blue after all. The marriage took place, and after a month Bluebeard told his wife

that he must make a journey. He bade her make good cheer with her friends

during his absence, and gave her all his keys: but one little key - that of a certain

cupboard - he forbade her to use on pain of his exceeding wrath. Curiosity,

however, overcame her. She opened the cupboard, and found therein the bodies

of his murdered wives. Bluebeard returned, and, seeing blood upon the little key,

told her she must die. Weeping, she begged for a little time to pray, and be

allowed he allowed her half a quarter of an hour. Then se called her sister, and

said: "Sister Anne, climb to the top of the tower to see if my brothers are coming,

and sign to them to hasten." And many times she called, "Sister Anne, see you

nothing coming?" and each time Sister Anne replied, "I see nothing but the sun

shining and the grass growing green." Bluebeard, the while, waited below with a

great cutlass in his hand. Sister Anne saw a cloud of dust, but it was only a block

of sheep. Then at length she cried: "I see two horsemen coming, but they are far

away." Bluebeard had just seized his wife's hair and raised his cutlass to strike off

her head when at that moment her brothers rushed in and slew him.




The illustration



Complete Image

Single Greeting Card

Price: US$5.00

Detail (for reference)

Reproduction on 12x18" sheet

Code: KN PPP C4 12x18
Price: US$60.00

Reproduction on 20x30" sheet

Code: KN PPP C4 20x30
Price: US$200.00




Our Greeting Cards


When presented on Greeting Cards, these images are prepared as tipped-on plates - in hommage to the hand-crafted

approach typical of prestige illustrated publications produced in the early decades of the 20th Century. Each card is

hand-finished, with the image presented on Ivory card stock with an accompanying envelope. On the rear of each

card we also present some information about Kay Nielsen and this wonderful illustration. We have left the interior

of the cards blank so that you may write your own personal message.


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wonderful illustration.


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