Benjamin Lacombe’s haunting illustrations alongside Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story of love and loss showcase the tale in an enchanting new light
French artist Benjamin Lacombe has created stunning, one-of-a-kind artwork to illustrate the pages of Hans Christian Andersen’s original tale about a young mermaid who makes a devastating deal with a sea witch and transforms into a human, only to end up heartbroken, lose the deal, and lose her life. The book’s illustrations and design are unique, captivating, and unexpectedly haunting, appealing to adult fans of Benjamin Lacombe and the pop surrealist movement as well as a younger audience, especially with the upcoming nostalgia-fueled remake of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
In addition to Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story, the book also includes additional pages featuring Andersen’s unrequited love letters to Edvard Collins and a postface by Lacombe with historical biography and context. In an essay, Lacombe explores LGBTQ themes in Hans Christian Andersen’s life. Frustrated with the overly feminine depictions of the story’s protagonist throughout history, Lacombe has created an androgynous mermaid to showcase the classic tale in a new light.