Richard Dadd

Contraditction: Oberon and Titania

1854-58; Oil on canvas

    This painting was painted during his years in Bethlem Hospital while he was suffering from schizophrenia. It was painted after he had been staying there for ten years. However, this painting does tie into his earlier work because once again it has for its subject Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. This painting depicts the scene of Oberon and Titania arguing over an Indian boy in Act II, Scene I. This painting is different from his earlier works because every piece of space in the painting is covered with miniscule fairies dancing and plants. The details are extreme he spent years obsessively working on this painting. At the bottom of the painting beneath Oberon and Titania, there appears a blue butterfly and to the left of it, a tiny fairy flying, above it are even more miniature fairies which are difficult to see in this picture. He painted this painting for his doctor, Dr. William Charles Hood, who was enlightened for the time and encouraged his painting. This painting was never viewed by the public until 1930. After this painting and his other master piece, The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke were viewed he was to be declared the greatest Victorian Fairy painter.

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