Proserpine

THE ROOTS OF FANTASY GALLERY  

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GALLERY TWO: FAIRY PAINTING

I first came across Richard Dadd's Fairy Feller without any warning in a basement near the Willam Blakes at Tate Britain in London. It must have been about two hours later that I moved on in a daze. Soon afterwards it was to be seen everywhere thanks to the psychedelic mood of the times, but I've never grown tired of it.

Apart from a couple, his other paintings are more in the accepted style of Victorian fairy painting, which was a wonderfully subversive way of celebrating sensuality in those repressed days. As with pseudo-classical sculpture it was an accepted medium for nudity and other forbidden fruits.

Fairy Feller Bacchanalia Oberon and Titania

Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke
Richard Dadd

Bacchanalian Scene
Richard Dadd

Oberon and Titania
Richard Dadd

Mercy: David Spareth Saul's Life Titania Sleeping The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania

Mercy: David Spareth Saul's Life
Richard Dadd

Titania Sleeping
Richard Dadd

The Reconciliation
of Oberon and Titania

Joseph Noel Paton

Come to These Yellow Sands Desert

Come to These Yellow Sands
Richard Dadd

The Artist's Halt in the Desert
Richard Dadd

Paton01 Paton02
The Argument of Oberon and Titania
Joseph Noel Paton
The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania
Joseph Noel Paton

GUSTAVE MOREAU, possibly because of his occasional Symbolist creepiness has had an enormous influence on modern fantasy illustrators, helped also by the strong design element of his compositions.

La Licorne Les
Licornes Hesiod and the Muse The Poet Orestes

La Licorne
Gustave Moreau

Les Licornes
Gustave Moreau

Hesiod
Gustave Moreau

The Poet
Gustave Moreau

Orestes and the Erinyes
Gustave Moreau

Jupiter and Semele Semele (detail) Salome St Sebastian Jacob and the Angel

Jupiter and Semele
Gustave Moreau

Semele (detail)
Gustave Moreau

Salome
Gustave Moreau

St Sebastian
Gustave Moreau

Jacob and the Angel
Gustave Moreau

St George and the Dragon Hercules and the Hydra Phaeton Poet Borne by a Centaur Hesiod and the Muses

St George and the Dragon
Gustave Moreau

Hercules and the Hydra
Gustave Moreau

Phaeton
Gustave Moreau

Poet and Centaur
Gustave Moreau

Hesiod and the Muses
Gustave Moreau

JOHN MARTIN is a curiously little known painter these days but in the 19th century his paintings were the equivalent of Hollywood epic films and apparently people were known to faint from vertigo when some were unveiled. These copies don't quite do him justice but you get the general idea.

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The Great Day of His Wrath
John Martin

The Last Bard
John Martin

The Assuaging of the Waters
John Martin

GALLERY ONE . . . . . . . . GALLERY THREE