Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Little Mermaid.

We had a new model for our Life Drawing Class in Laverton last week. Her description of herself on the Life Model Society list read 'warrior mermaid', I was intrigued.

When she arrived for the gig, in her wrap around dress, with her wild mane of curls piled high on her head, we knew exactly what she meant.

She was wonderfully inspirational. You can see some of our drawings here. I was admiring this one by the lovely Anne, when Warren came along beside me and said it looks like the Little Mermaid of Copenhagen.

As I have never been to Copenhagen, I had to consult my good friend Google.
Isn't she lovely?

According to Wikipedia it is based on the Little Mermaid in the fairy tale that we all know and love by Hans Christian Andersen, a native of Denmark, and Copenhagen-ite from the age of 14.
The statue itself is only 1.25 metres tall, (4ft).
"The statue was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg, who had been fascinated by a ballet about the fairytale in Copenhagen's Royal Theatre and asked the prima ballerina, Ellen Price, to model for the statue. The sculptor Edvard Eriksen created the bronze statue, which was unveiled on 23 August 1913. The statue's head was modelled after Price, but as the ballerina did not agree to model in the nude, the sculptor's wife, Eline Eriksen, was used for the body.
The Copenhagen City Council decided to move the statue to Shanghai at the Danish Pavilion for the duration of the Expo 2010 (from May to October), the first time it had been moved from its perch since it was installed almost a century earlier.[3]"

She hasn't had it easy this last century, perched on that there rock. She has been vandalised on many occasions. Decapitated twice, once in 1964 and again in 1998. The first time the head was never recovered, so a new one had to be made. In 1984 her right arm was sawn off, then returned two days later.
In 2003 she was blown off her perch with explosives. They recovered and restored her body from the water. She has been painted flouro pink, dressed up in various garbs and she is still sitting proud.  

An interesting story, that has had me reading articles from the Ice News-(News from the Nordics) and the like. So thanks for sharing Warren, and thanks for your beautiful drawing Anne.


  1. It's sad, all those things they did to her :( She looks a little cold though. Maybe she could do with some yarn bombing?

  2. I can understand had she'd been yarn bombed - it would be chilly there! But vandals are such menaces - I have a little copy of her the my grandfather bought in the early 70's on holiday - when he died it was the one thing I really jumped to claim. SHe is lovely and the drawing is such wonderful work.