Vasilisa the Frog Princess is my latest art doll sculpture. I wrote last time about doing some research into fairytales, and the Frog Princess was the first to catch my eye. I had heard the tale of the Frog Prince, but had not encountered his feminine variant before. This intrigued me. Her name is Tsarevna in some of the tales I read.
The name Vasilisa actually appears in several different tales of primarily Russian origin. In many there is no mention of her having amphibious qualities. In one very Cinderella-ish version, complete with evil step mom and sisters, she is a girl with a magic talking doll that aids her. In others she is a true princess that has been bewitched. In another, she is actually a frog that is then transformed. Usually, some great skill at accomplishing tasks (with and without magical help) is what distinguishes her.
I captured my Vasilissa mid transformation from frog to princess. She appears just a bit surprised that her left leg hasn’t yet caught up to the rest of her yet. I enjoy the interplay between the fact that many characters in fairy tales, and frogs themselves go through major metamorphosis. I’m sure this symbolism was not lost on the original authors of the tales as well.
I hammered a copper face and copper hands, and torch flame enameled brass brads for her eyes. Her head, upper torso and left leg are sculpted out of paperclay over a wire armature. Vasilisa’s hair is copper rooted to a copper scull cap that was glued in place. Her costume I created from some wonderful velvet and lace scraps in my cloth bin.
This art doll figure is secured to her base. This choice was necessary for the Vasilisa sculpture so that she could stand and hold up her remaining frog leg to get a look at it.