Magical Grimm Brothers-Inspired Photography of Fairytale Landscapes


The first volume of the classical German Grimm Brothers’ fairytales published in 1812 was dark and shows a very different side to the well-known tales that we all grew up with – from Rapunzel being impregnated by her prince, to the evil queen in Snow White being the princess’ biological mother. Their stories were actually published for adults and are considered to be closer to the originals that were passed down through oral traditions according to academics. However, after publishing two editions of their work, they decided to change their attitudes and produce a shorter version for families. This led the Grimm Brothers to censor and tone down many of their tales, also adding in many Christian expressions and proverbs (and even removing any references fairies) to appeal to religious families in their seventh edition in 1857 – which is their best-known edition today.

The darkness in the Grimm Brothers’ fairytales looms and seeps through our beloved, well-known tales leaving us fascinated by the actual original versions. This dark essence has been creatively captured by German photographer Kilian Schönberger in a series of images of entrancing and mystical landscapes and buildings throughout Central Europe. He called this series of images, “Brothers Grimm’s Wanderings”. The attention to detail, color and atmosphere in his photos are bewitching. We became even more in awe of his photos in learning that he is actually colorblind! Kilian writes,

I recognized that I could turn this so-called disadvantage into a strength, and developed my own unique photographic view.”

This shows that there can be beauty and strength in darkness too! You just have to find the light within.