Monochrome pencils on paper. 35,5 × 43 cm (14’’ x 17").
“Off with their heads!” — or Alice and the Queen of Hearts — is the second drawing of the series entitled “A journey in Wonderland”, which was inspired by one of my favourite books: “Alice in Wonderland”, published in 1865 by the British mathematician and writer Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, known worldwide as Lewis Carroll.
The drawing takes us into one of the most tense and funny scenes of the book: Alice’s encounter with the capricious and unforgiving Queen of Hearts, in Chapter VIII “The Queen’s Croquet-Ground”. In this part, three gardeners shaped like cards — named Two, Five and Seven — are busily painting in red color the roses planted in a garden by order of the Queen, but the flowers turned out to be white by mistake. However, while Alicia interrogates the worried gardeners, suddenly appears the Queen of Hearts with her great royal entourage, who, after discover the error in the rose-trees, explodes with anger, threatening to cut off the heads to the three poor servants. Fortunately, Alicia manages to intervene just in time, saving the gardeners after hiding them in a large flower-pot that stood near.
No doubt this is one of the most elaborate and amusing drawings I’ve done, full of little details like the headdress and gown of the Queen, the Knave and the Royal Crown, the Castle of Hearts and the roses that flourish within the garden. Now, all I hope is that the Queen of Hearts does not order to cut off my head when she discovers her royal portrait in my drawing…
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