Entering a painting (query)

tegeus-Cromis

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I love stories about people entering the world of a painting. Probably the first such story I ever experienced was the part in Mary Poppins where they enter Bert's sidewalk chalk drawings. There's also Marguerite Yourcenar's "How Wang-Fo Was Saved" in Manguel's Black Water anthology of fantastic fiction; one of the stories in the pilot episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery (and the novella Serling wrote), in which a Nazi war criminal hiding in South America dreams of entering a beautiful landscape hanging in a museum; Clark Ashton Smith's short story, "The Willow Landscape"... And more:
-- Akira Kurosawa's movie Dreams, in which he enters a Van Gogh painting and gets to meet Van Gogh
-- What Dreams May Come, the movie, and presumably the book too (which I haven't read)
-- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, in which they go to Narnia via a painting. (Though there seems to be a difference between stories in which a painting is simply a portal, and stories in which you are, and stay, in the painting).
-- Looney Tunes: Back in Action, in which they chase each other (IIRC) through paintings in the Louvre
-- A poem by Stevie Smith in which an unhappy office worker goes to the National Gallery and gets sucked into a Turner
-- an episode of Charmed in which they get trapped in a painting
etc etc

Any other such stories you can think of? I'm interested primarily in prose fiction, but also in any other medium-- movies, TV, video games, what have you. I'd like to build some kind of comprehensive list and maybe put together an anthology.

(Interestingly, there's a parallel here with stories of statues coming to life, as in Don Giovanni, but that theme has been explored more thoroughly. There are at least two books on it that I know -- and I highly recommend Kenneth W. Gross's The Dream of the Living Statue.)
 

Teresa Edgerton

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The closest thing I can think of off the top of my head is The Golden Key, by Jennifer Roberson, Melanie Rawn, and Kate Elliott, which has magical paintings in it, paintings that artists who have the ability can use to alter events and influence people, but I don't recall (it was a long time ago that I read it) if anyone ever entered one of the paintings.

I think not, which would make this suggestion useless I know, but as I said, it was a long time ago when I read it, so ... maybe?
 

Toby Frost

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The ghost story The Man In The Picture by Susan Hill would definitely qualify. I'm sure there's a M.R. James story in which a man disappears but his body is mysteriously depicted in a painting.
 

tegeus-Cromis

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The closest thing I can think of off the top of my head is The Golden Key, by Jennifer Roberson, Melanie Rawn, and Kate Elliott, which has magical paintings in it, paintings that artists who have the ability can use to alter events and influence people, but I don't recall (it was a long time ago that I read it) if anyone ever entered one of the paintings.

I think not, which would make this suggestion useless I know, but as I said, it was a long time ago when I read it, so ... maybe?
Thanks! They're all related, so even if they don't actually enter the painting, I'm curious about it. Actually there's a beautiful story by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, "Autumn Mountain," about a painting that sometimes seems alive, sometimes not. And he also had another story on a similar topic, "Hell Screen."

Come to think of it, in the anime movie, Miss Hokusai, a painted dragon comes to life and leaves the painting. I think this theme is pretty big in Japan.
 

tegeus-Cromis

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Oh, also, Algernon Blackwood's "The Man who Was Milligan," though I think in that one the painting is just a portal (to China, IIRC).
 

Teresa Edgerton

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According to the reviews of The Golden Key one of the characters ends up imprisoned in a painting—which now that I've seen her name mentioned in that regard I sort of remember. It's also available in a Kindle edition.
 

dannymcg

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Maybe the section of the Twilight Zone movie where the psychic kid slams the woman who disagrees with him into a cartoon world?
 

M. Robert Gibson

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Talking of Bradbury, there is The Illustrated Man the film

which includes The Veldt, The Long Rain and The Last Night of the World

and then there is The Illustrated Man itself:
"An overweight carnival worker is given a second chance as a Tattooed Man, and visits a strange woman who applies skin illustrations over his entire body. She covers two special areas, claiming they will show the future. The first is an illustration of the man strangling his wife. Shortly after this comes to pass, the carnival workers run the man down, beat him, and look at the second area. It shows an illustration of the beating in which they are engaged."
 

tegeus-Cromis

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Talking of Bradbury, there is The Illustrated Man the film

which includes The Veldt, The Long Rain and The Last Night of the World

and then there is The Illustrated Man itself:
"An overweight carnival worker is given a second chance as a Tattooed Man, and visits a strange woman who applies skin illustrations over his entire body. She covers two special areas, claiming they will show the future. The first is an illustration of the man strangling his wife. Shortly after this comes to pass, the carnival workers run the man down, beat him, and look at the second area. It shows an illustration of the beating in which they are engaged."
Thanks. I need to read it again. Last time I read it I must have been twelve.
 

M. Robert Gibson

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tegeus-Cromis

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I had something tickling the back of my brain which manifested itself as Paperhouse

which in turn is based on the novel Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr.

I also vaguely remember a children's TV series in 1970's UK which had something similar.

In fact, this must be what I remember
Excellent! Thanks! I knew there must be a lot of these things out there. Actually, I have somewhere a list I drew up a few years ago with more examples. I'll try to see if I can find it.
 

Toby Frost

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Well, I'm currently writing an epic fantasy novel with a side-plot about a painter investigating a magic painting, so I'll let you know if it every sees print!
 

Toby Frost

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That's actually quite unsettling, both charming and eerie at once.

Well, without giving the twists away, it's about a painter in a fantasy Renaissance (very vaguely inspired by Artemisia Gentileschi) who is commissioned to paint the daughter of a sophisticated but crafty prince as part of a diplomatic mission. The mission gives the prince a set of paintings by various artists, but one is discovered among them that nobody can identify. The painter investigates, and discovers that the painting has sinister powers, and that it can affect real life. It's one of four plot strands that eventually come together.
 
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