William Blake Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing c.1786

Artwork details

Artist
William Blake 1757–1827
Title
Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing
Date c.1786
Medium Watercolour and graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 475 x 675 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Alfred A. de Pass in memory of his wife Ethel 1910
Reference
N02686
Not on display

Display caption

This illustrates Titania's instruction to her
fairy train in the last scene of Shakespeare's
A Midsummer Night's Dream:

 

Hand in hand, with fairy grace,

Will we sing, and bless this place.

 

Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the fairies, are on the left. Puck, the perplexer
of mortals, faces us. The fairies Moth
and Peaseblossom are easily identifiable.

 

During the 1780s there was a growing
taste for Shakespeare illustrations. Blake
had formed a print-publishing partnership
in 1784. If the approximate dating of this
work is correct, it may represent an attempt
by Blake to break into this market.

August 2004

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