Elvira van Bochove

ELVIRA VAN BOCHOVE  Artist

The Little Mermaid and her choices...

The classic fairytale by Hans Christiaan Andersen is the guiding principle for a series of paintings I am working on. The tragedy of her being a creature without much power to choose the life that she desires gives her little self-love. Using works from art history, I hilight emancipatory issues that are in the story.

She traded her voice for a pair of legs     2019 

acrylics on canvas, 100 x 100 cm

The painting shows the Little Mermaid after her visit to the Sea Witch. She is left in a lonely environment. The light emphasizes her new legs, where there used to be a fish tail. The road to a possible life with the Prince. For this she paid with her voice, an essential part of the being of a mermaid. She will never again be able to tell her Prince and the world who she is …
“She traded her voice for a pair of legs” is after Rembrandt’s “The Bather”.


The sea that once was her home is about to swallow the Little Mermaid, who is turning into foam. This is the consequence of the Prince loving someone else more then her. She could have saved herself by stabbing a dagger in his heart on the night of his marriage. But she loved him more than her own life and threw herself into the sea. Knowing that she would ultimately dissolve into it…
“She would rather turn to foam than kill him” is after “Ophelia” by John Everett Millais.

She would rather turn to foam than kill him     2020

acrylics on canvas, 100 x 100 cm