Richard Dadd- The Fairy Fellers Master Stroke. The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke is the best-known painting by English artist Richard Dadd (1817–1886), many of whose paintings reflect his interest in supernatural subjects, especially fairies. A promising artist at an early age, he began studies at the Royal Academy Schools in London at the age of twenty. Within five years, however, he began to display signs of insanity and soon afterward was confined to a mental hospital. Dadd created The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke while at Bethlem Hospital, the first of two institutions where he spent the last forty-four years of his life. The painting, drawn from his imagination, shows the “fairy-feller” about to crack open a large chestnut to be used in the construction of Queen Mab’s new fairy carriage. Dadd’s masterpiece is housed in the Tate in the United Kingdom.
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