The Hidden Well An illustration collection


The aeroplane in this illustration is modeled after (toy) seaplanes. An earlier version of this illustration had a boat in place of the plane—this was quickly amended as it was clearly inappropriate considering Saint-Exupéry’s occupation.


This “map” contains a few atypical symbols; in particular, the presence of a rose and a sheep are because of this extract from The Little Prince:

‘I also have a flower.’

‘We do not take note of flowers,’ said the geographer.

‘Whyever not! They're prettier than everything else!’

‘Because flowers are ephemeral.’

‘What does “ephemeral” mean?’

‘Geography books,’ said the geographer, ‘are the most precious of all books. They never go out of date. It is very rare for a mountain to change position. It is very rare for an ocean to be emptied of its water. We record what is eternal.’

Yellow Scarf

The scarf is a visual element I borrowed from Saint-Exupéry’s drawings of the little prince; in them, he wears a yellow scarf often. It also appears in a few other illustrations in this collection.

Whence come I? I am from my childhood. I am from my childhood as if it were a country.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry / Flight to Arras (1942)