- After Sir Joshua Reynolds 1723–1792
- Oil paint on canvas
- Support: 368 × 298 mm
frame: 576 × 522 × 78 mm
- Purchased 1942
Puck is a household fairy and prankster. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare casts him as the servant of Oberon, king of the fairies. This is a study for Joshua Reynolds’s painting for the Shakespeare Gallery, which also published luxurious illustrated editions of Shakespeare’s plays. Reynolds imagined Puck sitting on a toadstool. He has pointed ears, like ancient Greek images of Pan, the mischievous classical god of the woods. Pointed ears became a common feature in depictions of fairies.
Gallery label, October 2020
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.