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Fairies in Victorian Art [Hardcover]

Christopher Wood
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 Jan 1999
This volume presents a fascinating world of fantasy, magic and the supernatural written by England's leading expert on Victorian art. It looks at the Victorian fascination with fairies as seen through their paintings by artists such as Richard Dadd, Richard Doyle and John Simmons.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Antique Collectors' Club Ltd; First Edition edition (1 Jan 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851493360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851493364
  • Product Dimensions: 28.3 x 24.4 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 919,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book!!! 12 Jun 2001
By olleke
Format:Hardcover
This book is a must for everyone who loves paintings and drawings of fairies. Fairies in Victorian Art is beautifully printed on high quality paper and bound. The author wrote another book on victorian art en so the text is also worth the amount of money. Although I find it a bit to expensive. The illustrations are obtained from the work of Füseli, Doyle, Rackham, Fitzgerald, Robert Hughes, Barker and many more. Together with the poems and text it is a new standard work, so an absolute must have!!
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fairies in Victorian Art 13 May 2002
By April Gallo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I thought this book had a very complete selection of Victorian fairy paintings, however, the reproduction quality of the paintings was not good. By comparison, the reproduction quality in Jeremy Maas' Victorian Fairy Painting was far superior, but there were less paintings. Having been involved in the publishing and printing of fine art books for years, I was unable to keep this book knowing that the compromised reproduction quality did not justify the "fine art" book price. If you have a critical eye and would prefer to go for quality of reproduction, rather than quanity of paintings, I would recommend the Maas book.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful overview of 19th century fairy painting! 1 Jan 2001
By Frances Rawnsley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is the second of only two books that I'm aware of that cover the phenomenon of Victorian fairy painting (the other being the exhibition catalogue Victorian Fairy Painting by Jeremy Maas). Wood covers artists such as John Anster Fitzgerald, Richard Dadd and Richard Doyle, and includes many illustrations (in colour) of works that haven't been reproduced before. My favourite is Frank Cadogan Cowper's Titania Sleeping. I'd recommend investing in this book if you are a fan of 19th century Victorian art.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adrft in magic on faery wings . . . 19 Oct 2008
By Marian Copenhaver - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This lovely book is filled with marvelous, evocative paintings that capture the British Victorian love of the Fae. Yet it is also finely balanced with subtle, accurate & moving historical threads depicting the tapestry of the times and the moving drama of the painters' lives . . . lives that often expose their excruciating conflicts--sometimes quite literally maddening conflicts--between Saturnian religiosity & Dionysian flights of creativity. This book is a magical caravan journey, to be taken over and over again . . .
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fairies in Art 18 Feb 2013
By maddyburg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Immensely informational if you are into fairies and art. I saw a significant of real Victorian Art at the Frick Museum in 1998 and never forget the impact of it on my mind. Fantasic. Love the book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical Fairies 4 Jan 2014
By David E. Goldweber - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Here's a very well written book with much historical context and literary background but never losing sight of the magical paintings. As in "The Pre-Raphaelites," Wood gives us many detailed descriptions of the paintings, some with entertaining phrasing or references. It's quite rewarding to first view the paintings on your own, and then read Wood's descriptions to discover things you've missed. Fittingly, Wood does not shy away from the sex, drugs, and general weirdness that are big appeals of the fairy subgenre.

While I love this book, I must admit that it's not as well assembled and printed as the Pre-Raphaelite volume (which I realize was published two decades earlier). The captions in this fairy volume rarely mention the years or the locations of the paintings. This information is usually available elsewhere, but it would have been nice to have it within easier reach.

Next, a few paintings are described enticingly but not reproduced, such as Fitzgerald's "The Nightmare" (which you'll have to seek online). Third, because so many of these paintings are so fantastically intricate, additional detail views would have been appropriate. Even masterpieces like Dadd's "Fairy Feller" get only a couple of details each. Some of the book's detail views could have been larger, too.

But, we can't have everything, it's true, and we sure get an awful lot with "Fairies in Victorian Art."
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