Beauty and the Beast Painting Theory
So one thing that always confused me, and I’m sure a lot of other people, is the painting of the Beast in human form we see in the beginning of the movie and briefly later when Belle comes across it.
So we know from the opening narration that the curse on the beast was to last until his 21st birthday and during the song Be Our Guest Lumiere says “10 years we’ve been rusting…”
So we know during the time Belle meets the Beast he’s around 21 years old and if the curse was put on him 10 years ago then he was only around 11 when the enchantress cursed him. This is backed up by the movie ‘Beauty and the Beast: Enchanted Christmas’ in which we see a flashback of the Prince getting cursed and he’s a child.
He clearly looks like a young child and around 11 years old. But that’s where the issue of the paining comes up. If the Prince was 11 when he was turned into a beast how does he have that painting of himself where he’s clearly much older than the age of 11 which was when he was cursed. He looks the same in the paining as he does when he’s transformed back into a human. But we clearly see him being much younger when he’s cursed so how on earth does he have that painting?
Here’s my theory to explain the painting. I think the Enchantress made that painting and then gave it to the Prince when she cursed him. It was another one of her punishments/lessons to the Prince. She was not only shaming the Prince by turning him into a hideous beast, but going further by giving him a paining of what he could look like if he breaks the curse. It could be the Enchantress was punishing the Prince by forcing him to see how beautiful he could be if he breaks the curse as further humiliation, or an incentive to push him to break it. But either way by giving the Beast that painting she was essentially saying “Look how beautiful you could be, but are not.” And that’s why the Beast looks so ashamed when he sees the painting and rips it. The painting represents all he could be and all he isn’t. It represents all he’s lost and might never get back. Until Belle comes along.