Richard Dadd: The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke (1855–1864)

(Tate Britain, London, UK)

The best known work of the British painter Richard Dadd (1817-1886). This work was commissioned by George Henry Haydon, head steward at Bethlem Royal Hospital who wanted a fairy painting. The setting of the painting is entirely from the artist's imagination but Dadd wrote a long poem in an effort to explain the painting. The main figure of the painting is the large man in brown, the Fairy Feller. He is waiting for the signal to split the nut before him with the rest of the figures waiting in anticipation to see if the Fairy Feller will succeed in splitting the nut with one stroke. Painting from 1855-1864.