The Tinder-box
(40X30 cm) 1997

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About the painting
This painting is inspired by the very first scene of the fairy-tale, where the soldier is stopped by an old witch, who asks him to crawl into an old hollow tree and get a tinder-box.

The witch and the soldier have no skin on the abdomen. Consequently, one can see an X-ray abdomen. By painting in this particularly way, the painting shows what the two people are thinking. The witch wants the magic tinder-box, because it gives power to the person who owns it. The soldier, on the other hand, just wants a lot of money - the witch promised him that he would find a lot of money at the bottom of the tree.  

In the background on the right hand side you see a chemical works. Today chemical works have almost become castles. In the sky you see money flying around - today money represent God. 

By working in this particularly way, I can express the world that we live in today - the painting is a good example of that.

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The idea behind "The Tinder-box"

A few years ago, a businessman brought one of the old beautiful houses in Nyhavn in Copenhagen, where H.C. Andersen lived for a long period of time. The businessman wanted to open a H.C. Andersen museum in Copenhagen, as he didn't like the fact that Odense, the hometown of H.C. Andersen, was the only town to take credit for having housed H.C. Andersen.

This inspired me to paint a H.C. Andersen painting - and see if I was able to contribute to the success of the new museum. This was the beginning of my numerous H.C. Andersen paintings

The museum i Nyhavn only survived for one year, and my painting was never exhibited there. But later, on a trip to Belgium, I realized that the interest for my H.C. Andersen painings was great in foreign countries. Consequently, I had to go home and illustrate other H.C. Andersen fairy-tales!

I have modernized "The Tinder-box" a little bit - and I did the same thing in my other H.C. Andersen paintings. This was how my paintings "H.C. Andersen in our time" became a reality.