I stumbled across this collection of art quite by accident. Although I cannot remember now what I had originally been searching for, BEAUTIFUL NIGHTMARES was recommended by Amazon. Without seeing nay of the artwork, I merely went on reviews both on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
The title of this book perfectly describes the pieces by Nicoletta Ceccoli. There is undoubtedly something very beautiful about the pictures, but when you study them in more details, there is often also something quite nightmarish about them too. The pictures are organised into five chapters - Babes in Toyland, Beautiful Nightmares, Water Girls, Forbidden Fruit and finally Weird and Wonderful. At the end there is a short biography of Ceccoli, a bibliography and then credits for each picture included in the collection. From this final section, I learnt that Ceccoli has illustrated books which have been published in English - from seeing her work here, I am now eager to source some of these works too.
It is hard to try and put across what it is about this book that I love so much. The pictures themselves range from the quiet simplicity of the cover detail ('Angelica' page 109), to the more surreal ('Arcadia' page 112). Some of the pictures seem to suggest an obvious link - 'Snow White', for instance - whereas others make you conjure possible stories to go alongside them - for instance, 'The Battle' page 90.
Personally, my favourites include 'Flora' (page 98), 'Farfalla' (page 120) and 'Blue Bird' (page 121).
If you are interested in seeing some examples of her work, I suggest you start with her website, nicolettaceccoli.com.