Fairies in Victorian art

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Antique Collectors Club Limited, 2008 - Art - 191 pages
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Victorians desperately wanted to believe in fairies. Representing escape from the reality of an unromantic, materialistic and scientific age, fairies also gave Victorians an excuse to express in acceptable ways the repressed and subconscious aspirations of a nation. Between 1840 and 1870 - the golden age of fairy painting - artists expressed these longings and aspirations, as well as reflecting those of a wider Victorian audience.
Christopher Wood, an expert on Victorian art, takes us into a world of fantasy, magic, ghouls and ghosts, spiritualism and psychology. In discussing the fascination with fairies, he examines the impact of literature (notably A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest), dance and music on the paintings of the period, and shows how the Victorian art world found an acceptable outlet for portraying taboos, such as nudity, eroticism, opiates, and the world of the supernatural.

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At first glance, it would seem that the depiction of airies in art was a relatively minor aspect of Victorian culture. But this book demonstrates the diverse ways in which fairies could be expressed ... Read full review


Introduction John Anster Fitzgerald 98

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About the author (2008)

Christopher Wood is at the School of Planning and Landscape, University of Manchester.

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