Picture 65.  Happily United under the Lanterns

Picture 65. Happily United under the Lanterns

The young Mandarin has freed Princess Tandaradei and won her heart. The happy couple celebrate their engagement under paper lanterns listening to the nightingale's song.

The moon has many faces in Stefan Mart's book. Here she must remain faceless and pure white as the artist wants her to serve as a halo to the luck-bringing singer. The artist, however, is far from giving away the chance of illuminating the night sky with a genuine Chinese moonface, yellow and slit-eyed. So he endows a paper lantern with this face and has it smiling wryly across the bridegroom's shoulder. The smile, however, is somewhat strained - the grimace of an old man who is not happy with this turn of the story, given that he set out to rescue and marry the Princess himself. Moreover, as the loser he has been left with the princess' evil and ugly aunt.

On the left, in the shape of a red lantern, another of the air fishes Stefan Mart is so fond of.