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Titania and Bottom

Photo credit: Tate

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Notes

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Fuseli was introduced to Shakespeare's plays during his student days in Zürich with the Swiss scholar Jacob Bodmer. 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' held a special appeal for him, in that it explores the realms of the supernatural. In the picture Fuseli illustrates a moment from Act IV scene 1, in which Oberon, in order to punish her for her pride, casts a spell on Queen Titania, as a result of which she falls in love with Bottom, whose head has been transformed into that of an ass. In the play she murmurs lovingly to the object of her affections, 'Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed, While I thy amiable cheeks do coy, And stick musk roses in thy sleek smooth head, And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy'.

Tate

Art UK Founder Partner

More information

Date

c.1790

Medium

Oil on canvas

Measurements

H 217.2 x W 275.6 cm

Accession number

N01228

Acquisition method

Presented by Miss Julia Carrick Moore in accordance with the wishes of her sister 1887

Work type

Painting