The alternate realities of Richard Dadd

richard_dadd.jpgRichard Dadd was a promising artist who was admitted to the Royal Academy of Art in 1837. A decade later, Dadd was a patient in Bethlem psychiatric hospital after experiencing an intense psychosis, but was still to create the greatest of his works.

Dadd first started experiencing the beginings of psychosis when travelling in Egypt. He believed that the sound of the traditional Egyptian “hubbly bubblies” contained messages to him from the god Osiris.

Back in England, the artist became one of the rare examples of people who become violent when psychotic, killing his father with a razor. After fleeing from the authorities he was detained after attempting to attack a tourist in Paris.

On return to London, he was comitted to Bethlem Hospital for 20 years, before being moved to Broadmoor Hospital where he lived for the rest of his life.

When in hospital he continued to paint, and created some of the most important and fantastical paintings of the Victorian era.

The most famous, The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke (jpg – works best full screen) has been the inspiration novels and plays, and even a song by the seminal rock group Queen.

Link to detailed Dadd biography (with early sketches).
Link to brief biography.

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