Thomas Ryder & Thomas Ryder Jnr (Engraver) Henry Fuseli (After)

Shakespeare: Midsummer-Night's Dream, Act IV, Scene I, Oberon, Queen of the Fairies, Puck, Bottom and Fairies attending

Shakespeare: Midsummer-Night's Dream, Act IV, Scene I, Oberon, Queen of the Fairies, Puck, Bottom and Fairies attending by Thomas Ryder & Thomas Ryder Jnr, Henry Fuseli

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Queen. My Oberon! What visions have I seen

Methought I was enamoured of an ass

Oberon. There lies your love

Queen. How came these things to pass?

O, How mine eyes do loath his visage now!

Oberon casts a spell on Titania, so that she falls in love with the first person she sees on awakening, which happens to be Bottom the Weaver wearing an asses' head. When Oberon lifts the spell, order is restored once more. Shakespeare took the name of Titania from Ovid's Metamorphoses, and the theme of transformation is central to the play. Texts that described the world of fairies or spirits were a rich source for many eighteenth artists wishing to depict fantastical creatures, not least when pictorialising the irrational world of dreams. Scenes such as these serve as important precursers to psychology's explorations of the unconscious mind in the 20th century. (Monsters and Maidens, 2004)

Title
Shakespeare: Midsummer-Night's Dream, Act IV, Scene I, Oberon, Queen of the Fairies, Puck, Bottom and Fairies attending
Artist/creator
Production date
1803
Medium
mezzotint on wove paper
Dimensions
510 x 662 mm
Inscription
Painted by Henry Fuseli, R. A.. SHAKSPEARE. / Midsummer-Night's Dream. / ACT IV SCENE I. / Oberon, Queen of the Fairies, Puck, Bottom, and Fairies attending, &c. / Pub. Der. 1, 1803 by J. & J. BOYDELL, at the Shakspeare Gallery, Pall Mall & at No.90, Cheapside, London.. Engraved by Thos. Ryder & Thos. Ryder Junr..
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Peter Tomory, 2002
Accession no
2002/9/4
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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