Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Episode 105: Victorian Fairy Painting



Fairy painting started in Victorian England and is uniquely British. It was heavily influenced by Shakespeare, especially Midsummer's Night Dream and The Tempest but was also influenced by books such as The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser and The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope.

Cultural issues, the difficulties of the Industrial Revolution, poverty and the fast changes in society were overwhelming for the general populous. People found their happy place in Fairy Paintings.


Fuseli, Fairy Mab,  c. 1815



Fuseli, Titania Awakening, 1785

William Blake, Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing, c.1786



 Fuseli and Blake can be considered the prototype of the Fairy genre.

Richard Dadd, Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke, 1855-64, Tate Britain
Richard Dadd is probably the most well know Fairy painter of the Victorian Age, but he was unknown in his lifetime, having spent most of his life in Bethlem Psychiatric Hospital.


Joseph Noel Paton, The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania, 1847

Joseph Noel Paton was the most well known Fairy painter of the Victorian era.

Turner, Queen Mab's Cave, 1846, Tate Britain

Even artists who were well respected for other genre's of painting, like JMW Turner, dabbled in Fairy Painting.

Edward Robert Hughes, Midsummer's Eve, 1908

John Anster Fitzgerald, The Captive Robin, 1864

John Anster Fitzgerald, Fairies looking through a Gothic Arch, C. 1864

John Atkinson Grimshaw, Spirit of the Night, 1879
Rackhum, A Fairy, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, 1906


Rackham, The Fairies of the Serpentine, 1906

The beginning of World War I brought the popularity of Fairy painting to an end, but Arthur Rackham created amazing fairy illustrations.


Here's a bonus painting for you! I love the rabbit.

We hope you enjoyed this episode. Next week Carrie and Carolyne will be talking about Kandinsky!




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