Harris Museum Buys 19th Century "Puck" Painting


LONDON.- An important 19th century painting featuring Puck, the mischievous character from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, has been bought for the Harris Museum & Art Gallery in Preston. Puck by Victorian artist Richard Dadd is a mysterious painting with a fascinating back story. On loan to the Harris since June 2009, the popular work was in danger of being sold by its owners, the Finnis Scott Foundation. The Harris has now successfully raised all the money required to buy it for its permament collections. The work depicts Puck, a central character from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, sitting on a toadstool while smaller fairy figures dance around him in moonlight. Signed and dated 1841, the painting is circular in shape set in an ornate gilt frame. Puck is a key example of Victorian fairy painting, an artistic trend which flourished between the 1840s – 1870s. Richard Dadd is the most famous of the fairy painters.