The most famous Italian fairy

The fairies are not all the same. They are present in many cultures and have taken various forms. In the Anglo-Saxon tradition, they are pretty little creatures with butterfly wings. I made two of them in felt a long time ago, you can see them HERE. In the Italian tradition they are very present,  they often are beings related to nature that can change shape or make others change it, they originate from the Nymphs, divine powers linked to nature and arts, and by the Fates that managed the destiny of humans. The word fairy etymologically derives from the Latin word fatum that means destiny.

Fairies are often associated with children. James M. Barrie in Peter and Wendy tells us how the fairies were born: when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. But then he tells us how, always because of the children, the fairies can die: every time a child says, 'I don't believe in fairies,' there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.


And it is really a special bond between a fairy and a child when we think of the Blue fairy and Pinocchio.


From a certain point onwards the color of the fairies became blue, the color of magic, thanks to the authors of fairy tales such as Perrault and the Brothers Grimm, so we understand why the Pinocchio fairy had blue hair even if we need to clear up a misunderstanding, the color turquoise is not light blue, as it was believed, but it is a very dark blue, almost black. Because of this misunderstanding, Collodi's fairy was always represented with much lighter hair than the writer had imagined.

The blue fairy is a shapeshifter, in fact at the beginning of the story Pinocchio meets her in the guise of a child, then she takes on the appearance of a little woman who asks Pinocchio's help on the island of the Busy Bees, then she is a beautiful lady, who wears a medallion depicting a puppet, that Pinocchio sees among the circus audience, then turns into a goat and then returns to being the mother fairy. Equipped with magical powers she can perform real miracles and not only in a positive sense, in fact, like many fairies, she does not like to be teased and can take revenge, Pinocchio will understand it at his own expense. The Fairy at some point pretends to be dead to punish Pinocchio, a practice quite common among Italian mothers of the time!

Gina Lollobrigida plays the Blue Fairy in the beautiful Comencini tv series, a Chiostri's illustration in the first editions of the book.
Gina Lollobrigida plays the Blue Fairy in the beautiful Comencini tv series, a Chiostri's illustration in the first editions of the book.


The Blue fairy is a being of the woods, in fact in the book it will be explained that the little girl with blue hair whom Pinocchio sees looking out of the window was actually a very kind Fairy who had lived, for more than a thousand years, in the vicinity of the forest.


The fairy has power and uses the help of her animal friends; she orders the Falcon to free Pinocchio hanged from the tree by the assassins, he has him brought to his house by the faithful dog Medoro, he consults the esteemed doctors, the Owl, the Crow and the Jiminy Cricket (the Talking Cricket in the original italian version), to revive him, she sends a flock of peaks to reduce Pinocchio's very long wooden nose, she finally sends a bunch of little fishes that free Pinocchio from his donkey skin and save him from drowning. And then, we all remember the Snail.


I present to you, today, a work in progress of my blue fairy that is part of a new collection in wood clay and other materials dedicated to Pinocchio, HERE instead you can see one of my very first works dedicated to Collodi's book, sold entirely in the Netherlands. Pinocchio is absolutely one of the books that has always inspired my work the most for the richness of images and meanings.

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