Paint the elephant

My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a ...

A painter’s impossible challenge, as well as the essence of painting, from The Little Prince.

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.

–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“The narrator becomes an aircraft pilot, and one day, his plane crashes in the Sahara┬ádesert, far from civilization. The narrator has an eight-day supply of water and must fix his aeroplane. Here, he is greeted unexpectedly by a young boy nicknamed “the little prince.” The prince has golden hair, a loveable laugh, and will repeat questions until they are answered.

The prince asks the narrator to draw a sheep. The narrator first shows him the picture of the elephant inside the snake, which, to the narrator’s surprise, the prince interprets correctly. After three failed attempts at drawing a sheep, the frustrated narrator draws a simple crate, claiming the sheep is inside. The prince exclaims that this was exactly the drawing he wanted.”

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