August 31, 2016

Cinderella Castle's Magnificent Mosaics

Next time you're in Disney World's Magic Kingdom and you want to go
from Main Street to Fantasyland, don't walk around the castle, go through it.
It's a fun stroll through the castle's breezeway with the added bonus 
of viewing the often-overlooked, magnificent Cinderella mosaics.

Measuring 10' x 5' each,5 panels depict different scenes from the classic tale.
Dorothea Redmond designed the murals and Hanns Scharff did the mosaic work.
The mosaics are comprised of over a million pieces of glass, 
with some made of sterling silver or 14K gold for extra glitz.

You can see the ethereal transparency of the Fairy Godmother's dress,
plus the "magic" from her wand transferring to Cinderella's new ball gown.

Oh, how detailed! Just one example is the choice of this 
patterned tile floor when a solid color would've sufficed.

The designs of the gowns are stunning!

The placement of each tiny tile is so intricate!

Cinderella's mice-friends watch as she tries on the glass slipper.

Note the deliberate shading of the stepsisters' complexions;
one is green with envy and the other is red in anger.
They're none too pleased that the shoe fits Cinderella perfectly!
(Also, check out that grouchy cat Lucifer.)

These mosaics were later reproduced 
tile-by-tile for Tokyo Disneyland's Cinderella Castle.

Love always wins!

Fascinating facts about the artists:

Dorothea Holt Redmond worked as an Imagineer for Disney 
during the time she created the Cinderella murals.
Before that, she was a production designer for Gone With the Wind, 
The Ten Commandments, and 7 Alfred Hitchcock films, among many others.

Prior to his career as a mosaic artist, Hanns Scharff earned a reputation as
World War II's most successful German interrogator, particularly of captured US pilots.
Rather than by violent means, Scharff used kindness and respect 
to successfully retrieve information from the prisoners.
Because of his non-violent tactics, he was not tried for war crimes.
Subsequently, he was asked by the US military to instruct them on his methods.
He later immigrated to the United States to pursue his career in art.

Great stuff, right?

Photos don't do these mosaics justice!
Promise me that you'll stop in and take a long look
to fully appreciate their beauty and craftsmanship! 

Want to read more of my Disney posts?

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