The Story of Cinderella in Pictures

Pictures of Cinderella by various artists

It’s hard to find more popular story than Cinderella’s. Her character inspired many talented artists and this post is a tribute to them. For selection I used only two criteria: artist must be dead at least 70 years and first publishing of the art must be before 1923. This of course makes all presented paintings and illustrations public domain in European Union AND United States of America. If you want to use any of pictures of Cinderella on this page for any kind of project, go ahead. It would be nice to give me a credit (link to this post, for instance), because I invested dozens of hours in research and editing, but you are not obligated to do this. It’s up to you. If you have any question about presented graphic material, ask me in the comments bellow. If you need any picture in higher resolution, ask, and I will check if I have it.

One more thing: enjoy!


Lithography above is work by Anton Seder (1850-1916). It contains all the classic elements of the story although many of them will not be recognized by today’s audience. The reason is simple. Anton Seder was German, so this is version from Grimm’s collection, not older Perrault’s which is more known thanks to Disney’s movie. Or with other words: we have golden, not glass slipper, we have birds, not a fairy godmother.

Next piece of art is even more impressive:

cinderella in diguise

cinderella's dance with a prince

cinderella's lost slipper

cinderella'a marriage

The artist’s name is Mauritz von Schwind (1804-1871) and he loved themes from mythology and folklore. He portrayed Cinderella in oil as well:

cinderella oil painting by mauritz von schwind

Talking about oil paintings, here is more:

cinderella oil painting by tom sully

Tom Sully (1783-1872), American painter, born in England.

cinderella oil painting by val prinsep

Valentin Cameron Prinsep (1838-1904) was English painter, member of Pre-Raphaelites.


Another British artist, associated with pre-Raphaelites was Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833–1898). Please note how he portrayed Cinderella’s feet on the watercolour / gouache painting above.


Painter / illustrator of the picture above  is British as well. His name is William Henry Margetson (1861-1940) and as we can see, he choose the scene with Cinderella and the fairy godmother.

Let’s conclude our examination of British artistic view on Cinderella’ story with two illustrations of Charles Robinson (1870-1937).



The colored one is a cover from the book titled Tales of passed times from 1900. The black and white scene is from inside. This book is a collection of Perrault fairy tales with the addition of The Beauty and the Beast by Madame Leprince de Beaumont and two tales by Madame d’Aulnoy.

cendrillon oil painting by louis adolphe tessier

Louis Adolphe Tessier (1855-1911) was French painter, known by impressive effects of light on his works. Unfortunatelly we have only black and white reproduction of his painting of Cendrillon (Cinderella in French).

So far French version of the story looks more popular among painters and illustrators. This is not a coincidence. Although Grimms’ tale is better in character development, Perrault’s looks more appealing to wide audience. Who could resist a drive in a pumpkin, anyway?

Let’s look at some illustrations from Grimms’ collection:

aschenputtel by paul meyerheim

Paul Meyerheim (1842-1915) portrayed Cinderella with white birds.

aschenbrodel illustration by carl offterdingerillustration of aschenbrodel by carl offterdinger

Carl Offterdinger (1829-1889) made these two illustrations with his signature red and yellow colors.


Robert Geissler (1819-1893) preferred to portray the scene of Cinderella (Aschenputtel) leaving the prince.

aschenputtel illustration by Alex Zick

Alexander Zick (1845-1907) also decided for the scene with birds as magical helpers.

adrian ludwig richter picture of cinderella with birds

Another scene with the birds, this time by Adrian Ludwig Richter (1803-1884).

German illustrators from 19th century liked to portray the relation of Cinderella with birds more than her relation with the prince.

What about Hermann Vogel (1854-1921)?

cinderella by vogel

vogel illustration of cinderella with birds

cinderella helping her step sisters by vogel

vogel hermann illustration of cinderella

Yes, you are right, he used birds on all four (!) illustrations.

Let’s finish our journey through Germany with today less known, but historically very important edition with illustrations by Philip Grot Johann (1841-1892) and Anton Robert Leinweber (1845-1921):

philip-grotjohann and robert leinweber illustration of cinderella

anton robert leinweber and philip grot johann illustration of cinderella2

Again, we couldn’t manage without the birds, but we also have one picture of Cinderella in action. German Cinderella is much more enterprising than French Cendrillon. Here she tries to escape from prince and her golden shoe is lost. Yes, it is not made of glass, brothers Grimm preferred gold.

It’s hard to say what are shoes of Anne Anderson’s (1874-193?) Cinderella made of:

cinderella running anne anderson illustration

Arthur Joseph Gaskin (1862-1928) didn’t bother with the material either.

cinderella picture by aj gaskin

picture of cinderella by aj gaskin

And here we go with Arthur Rackham (1867-1939):

picture of cinderella rackham

The picture above is from the collection of fairy tales by brothers Grimm. Next is from picture book where the story is retold by Charles Seddon Evans (1862-1948) from year 1920. It is expanded with many details and subplots and Rackham illustrated it in technique of silhouettes with black and white, only occasionally with a touch of orange, red or blue color. So far I managed to find only one picture in public domain (I still had to edit it) on the web, but I’ll try to add more if they will be available:

silhouette of cinderella by rackham

Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) was another artist who liked to achieve as much dramatic effect as possible with the minimum number of strong colors:

aubey beardsley cinderella picture

Talking about minimalism, we can’t miss vignette from Edward Henry Wehnert (1813-1868):

aschenputtel by edward henry wehnert

The slipper and some magic. Who needs more?

More is seen by Oliver Herford (1863-1935):

cinderella and fairy godmother by oliver herford

George Cruikshank (1792-1878) retold the story of The Little Glass Slipper in next series of pictures:

glass slipper by george cruikshank

head vignette by cruikshank

george cruikshank illustrations of the glass slipper

cruikshank george the glass slipper

the glass slipper illustration george cruikshank

the glass slipper cruikshank george

happy ending in the glass slipper cruikshank

tail vignette cruikshank

Cruikshank’s Cinderella and the Glass Slipper was published in a book as the last of four classic fairy tales (Puss in Boots, The Story of Jack and the Bean-Stalk and Hop-O’-My-Thumb and the Seven-League Boots being other three). Walter Crane’s picture books made by Edmund Evans also often contained more than one story. This one also shared attention with Puss in Boots as second and Valentine and Orson as the third story and The Absurd ABC as first, Mother Hubbard as second, King Lucky Boy’s Party as third, The Fairy Ship as fourth, This Little Pig Went to Market as fifth and Cinderella as the sixth in the same edition:



cinderella and her step sisters

cinderella and fairy god-mother

cinderella going to the ball

cinderella and prince at the ball

cinderella on the run

cinderella tries the glass slipper


Walter Crane (1845-1915) illustrated the same story in the edition of Household and Children Tales by brothers Grimm in black and white:

head vignette by crane

tail vignette by crane

It is very clear both Crane’s takes on the Cinderella differ. In first he worked on Perrault’s version with a fairy and in second on Grimms’ with the birds.

This is one of rare occasion where the artist from England illustrated German, not French Cinderella (well, actually both). Brothers Dalziel made next series of Cinderella’s pictures:


cinderella at fireplace

cinderella helping her step sisters

fairy godmother and cinderella

cinderella and prince

cinderella running away

cinderella trying glass slipper if it fits

And this is the same story in decadent style of Harry Clarke (1889-1931), who illustrated complete collection of fairy tales by Charles Perrault:

harry clarke cinderella or little glass slipper

cinderella's carriage

picture of cinderella helping her step sisters

glass slipper

vignette by harry clarke

illustration of cinderella by clarke

Andrew Lang included the story in his collection of fairy books by colors. Cinderella or Little Glass Slipper is in the first, Blue Book of Fairy Tales, published in 1889 and illustrations were made by George Percy Jacomb-Hood (1857-1929):

cinderella illustration by jacomb-hood

picture of cinderella and a fairy

cinderella running away picture

Next drawings come from the book titled Europa’s Fairy Book edited by Joseph Jacobs and published in 1916. Illustrations were done by John Dixon Batten (1860-1932).



cut off the toe

We’ll conclude exploring the work on Cinderella by English illustrators with Robert Anning Bell (1863-1933) and his part on Household Tales by brothers Grimm:

robert a bell aschputtel

aschputtel running away

tail piece of ashputtel

What about American illustrators? Nice example is picture book done by John Rea Neill (1877-1943), otherwise more known as the royal illustrator of Oz. All presented pictures come from Cinderella, Or, The Little Glass Slipper, published by Reilly and Britton.

cinderella picture john rea neill

inside cover by john r neill

cinderella working john r neill

cinderella fairy pumpkin

cinderella fairy carriage

cinderella prince

cinderella running awy john r neill

cinderella hiding her identity

glass slipper and cinderella john r neill

Here is another gem, this time by an artist, who’s Water Babies are already presented here. Yes, we are talking about Jessie Wilcox Smith (1863-1935):

cinderella illustration by jessie wilcox smith

Next two paintings are done by another American artist around 1912: Sarah Noble Ives (1864-1944). She used pen and ink, watercolors and gouache.



Of course illustrators from France always knew which version of Cinderella is ‘correct’. Next series is work of Gustave Dore (1832-1883):

pumpkin in little glass slipper

ball in little glass slipper

escape of cinderella in little glass slipper

glass slipper and cinderella by gustave dore

His contemporary Frederic Theodore Lix (1830-1897) made one full page illustration of Cinderella (Cendrillon in French) as well:

cendrillon or little glass slipper

cendrillon by theodore lix

frederic theodore lix picture of cinderella

deatil cinderella frederic theodore lix

This is how Warwick Goble (1862-1943) saw Cinderella in The Fairy Book published in 1913:

cinderella or little glass slipper picture by warwick goble

And one of my favorites: Elenor Plaisted Abbott (1875-1935), this time illustration which is obviously based on version by brothers Grimm:

elenor abbott cinderella picture

We mentioned only two versions of Cinderella but there are actually hundreds of known variations, some say there are at least fifteen hundred variations all over the world. There are also sub variants, like Donkeyskin, based on Giovanni Francesco Straparola’s Doralice from Facetious Nights:

painting of doralice by er hughes

The same fairy tale (Donkeyskin) was also portrayed by already above mentioned Gustave Dore:

donkey skin illustration by gustave dore

John Dixon Batten was already mentioned as well. Here are four (!) illustrations of sub variations of Donkeyskin by him:

cap-o-rushes illustration

Cap-o’-Rushes from English Fairy Tales (1890).

illustration from catskin

Catskin from more English Fairy Tales (1891).

rushen coatie illustration

Rushen Coatie from More English Fairy Tales (1891).

tattercoats illustration

Tattercoats from More English Fairy Tales (1891).

We could also tell few things about the history of Cinderella. Oldest known version is probably from Egypt. It is called Rhodopis who was famous courtesan with unclear relationship with another famous name: the legendary storyteller and ‘ the father of the fable’ Aesop.

Next painting by Angelica (Maria Anna Angelika) Kauffman (1741-1807) portrays both:

angelica kauffman rhodopis

And there is a Japanese version of the story with a step mother in a form of a serpent pictured by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892):

chujo-hime yoshitoshi

She is called Chujo-shime in Japan and Vasilisa the Beautiful in Russia (picture by Ivan Bilibin):

picture of vasilisa the beautiful

We could go on and on, but some things can wait for another occasion, right?

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