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The Birthday of the Infanta by suburbanbeatnik The Birthday of the Infanta by suburbanbeatnik
I just finished this for my agent's spring mailing. It depicts a scene from Oscar Wilde's classic story, "The Birthday of the Infanta," which can be read here. [link]

It's a very depressing story, as are most of Wilde's fairy tales, but the visuals are so striking- mainly, the contrast between the blond infanta and the poor dwarf- that I've been wanting to illustrate it for ages.
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:iconbeautifullyflawed:
BeautifullyFlawed Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2008
It's okay!
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:iconnorthwestmarmot:
NorthwestMarmot Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
Excellent work, as always.

Even if it is a depressing little story. :P
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:iconseitou:
Seitou Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As soon as I saw the title, I instantly thought of all those Velazquez paintings :D And you draw those huge Spanish baroque dresses so well! Now I just have to read the story when I have the time.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
I've been staring at Velazquez paintings all weekend when I was working on this. Wilde was inspired by Las Meninas to write the story- and if you want to read it, be prepared for beautifully written gloom!
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:iconspeckledwanderer:
speckledwanderer Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
So gorgeous! Love the little guy, as well as the beautiful details on the garments. Goes off to read the story. :3
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! So... did you read it? ;P
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:icondarkjem:
darkjem Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
...

I read the story... that's something I love about your work, I'm always learning something new to understand it.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
So, what did you think of the story?
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:icondarkjem:
darkjem Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
It made me sick... like physically ill. I had to lay down for a little while.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm sorry. :(
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:icondarkjem:
darkjem Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
It's all right, besides that it was a... well written little story.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, it is very pretty and atmospheric, even if I do want to OD on Xanax by the time I come to the ending. :P
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:icondarkjem:
darkjem Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
mmm... not a bad idea.
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:iconsparticus42:
sparticus42 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
stunning :D as always!
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:iconnm-raven:
NM-Raven Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
Juana la Loca! :p

Beautiful picture, the colors are amazing!

Sad story, but very good, I <3 Wilde!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Nope, the princess is based on the Infanta Margarita. Who died when she was 22, after marrying her uncle. :P

Glad you like! Wilde's amazing, isn't he?
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:iconnm-raven:
NM-Raven Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2008
Oh, pretty close :p

Very!!
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:iconcyrionb:
CyrionB Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
Beautiful job
regardless of its mood!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! :)
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:iconredpassion:
RedPassion Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
Ok, i don´t the story and i admit that i´m to lazy to read it now...XDD But why is it sad? Does they fall in love? Well i find the lil guy soooooo cute. I would take him...;P And the color is really great as always. Ok i must admit too, that he would be the lil brither of the rest of the group...X°D i´m sry.
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:icontherandomerwhofaves:
TheRandomerWhoFaves Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
he falls in love with her but she laghs at him for being ugly...*skips a million pages* then he sees his reflection (never seen wut he looks like before, btw) and realises that she was laghing at him cos he wuz ugly, and he dies of a broken heart. read it though, its not very long and very descriptive to give you an idea of what its actually like. (unlike me)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm glad you like it. This is the synopsis on Wikipedia:

The Birthday of the Infanta is about a hunchbacked dwarf, found by courtiers of the King of Spain in the woods and sold to them by his father, brought to palace for the amusement of his daughter, the Infanta, on her twelfth birthday.

Her birthday is the only time she is allowed to mingle with other children, and she much enjoyed the many festivities arranged to mark it, especially the Dwarf's performance. He danced, as he did in the woods, thoroughly unaware of his audience's laughing at him. She insisted on his performing a second time for her after dinner.

The Dwarf mistakenly believed the Infanta must love him, and tried to find her, passing through a garden where the flowers, sundial, and fish ridiculed him, but birds and lizards did not. He found his way inside the palace, and searched through rooms hoping to find the Infanta, but finding them all devoid of life.

Eventually, he stumbled upon a grotesque monster that mimicked his every move in one of the rooms. When the realization came that it was his own reflection, he knew then that the Infanta did not love him and he fell to the floor, kicking and screaming. The Infanta and the other children came upon him and thought it to be another act, and laughed and applauded while his flailing grew more and more weak before he stopped moving altogether. The Infanta demanding more entertainment, a servant tried to rouse him, but discovered his heart had stopped. Telling this to the Infanta, she speaks the last line of the story "For the future, let those who come to play with me have no hearts."
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:iconredpassion:
RedPassion Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2008
Ahh ok, thank you!!! :hug: And yes you´re right it siunds really sad....:( And your pic is a very good for it. :)
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:iconhuissi:
Huissi Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2008
It's awesome, and the details are beautiful!
It reminds me so much to "Las Meninas" of Velásquez.
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:iconiluvchees07:
iluvchees07 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2010
That's exactly what my mind went to.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! I'm glad you like. The resemblance to Velazquez isn't surprising, as Oscar Wilde was apparently inspired by the painting to write the story. ;P
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Submitted on
March 4, 2008
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