A Fevered Mind’s Master Stroke

The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke
The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke-Richard Dadd 1855-1864
As well as attacking the current prevailing psychiatric view of madness (Breton’s Nadja was a call to arms in this respect, stated that if he was institutionalised he would take advantage of his madness and kill someone, preferably a doctor) the Surrealist’s championed the art of the insane. As has often been stated, madness and dreams share an affinity in that they both posit a convincing alternative reality, at least while a person is under the spell.

I am not sure that the Surrealists had any direct knowledge of one of the most extraordinary examples of art produced by an inmate of an asylum (as he was a professionally trained artist his work cannot be classified as what is now known as outsider art) Richard Dadd’s The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke, however the hyper-realism of the fairy scene and the remarkable detail in every obsessive brush-stroke pre-figures the work of Dali and Magritte.