Upcoming Auctions and Events

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
John Anster Fitzgerald (1819-1906)
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 2… Read more
John Anster Fitzgerald (1819-1906)

Titania and Bottom from William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer-Night's Dream'

Details
John Anster Fitzgerald (1819-1906)
Titania and Bottom from William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer-Night's Dream'
pencil and watercolour with bodycolour and with gum arabic, on paper
7¾ x 10 7/8 in. (19.7 x 27.6 cm.)
Special Notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

Brought to you by

Brandon Lindberg
Brandon Lindberg

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

Condition Report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

Fitzgerald was one of the most important exponants of Victorian fairy painting, whose fantastical compositions provided magical escapism from the drear hardships of daily life. Little is known of his early training but he is known to have been exhibiting at the Royal Academy by 1845, where he showed regularly until 1881. He also exhibited his works at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water-colour and the Society of British Artists.

The subject matter is unusual for Fitzgerald, whose subject matter was largely imaginary, as it illustrates a specific literary moment. One of the most famous scenes from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer-Night's Dream (Act III, Scene 1), Titania, Queen of the Fairies, is punished by her husband Oberon, for refusing to surrender a changeling boy whom he wants for his page, and is tricked into falling in love with the oafish weaver and amateur actor, Bottom, to whom he has magicked an ass's head. Lovingly she strokes his head whilst ordering her fairy attendants to wait on him.

The related painting by Fitzgerald of Titania and Bottom was sold in Christie's New York, 25 June 1998, lot 306.

More from Victorian & British Impressionist Art

View All
View All