Another synchronous moment. Thinking of Richard Dadd yesterday. This from today’s Independent in London:
And speaking of incredibly detailed madness, there’s this… The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke, worked on from between 1855 and 1864, after Dadd’s hospitalization for paranoid schizophrenia. He was overcome while travellling up the Nile by boat with the notion that he was taken over by the Egyptian god Osiris. On his return from the trip his condition continued to deteriorate and he ended up killing his father (Note: I resisted the pun) with a knife, fleeing to France.
The painting is a mere 26 x 21 inches and seeing it at the Tate is an experience one doesn’t likely forget. This painting is INTENSE:
Richard Dadd, Contradiction: Oberon and Titania
Oberon was the king of the fairies, and will be recalled from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer of Night’s Dream. Titania is his queen.
PS: Note that in the article in the Independent it’s mentioned that Dadd was in Bethlem along with JMW Turner’s mom and that they shared the same doctor. Was Turner aware of Dadd there and his work? It seems that he would have been, particularly given the astonishing level of skill in Dadd’s work. I recently read a quote from Turner that he would have given one of his fingers at one time to be able to make work as skilled as Thomas Girtin’s.
Thomas Girtin, Ainwick to Brizlee