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"Songe de la Fantasie": 3713

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


"Songe de la Fantasie"


Draughtsman: Dadd, Richard




History note: Source unknown (found in large portfolio 1945 - possibly ex Perceval bequest?)

Measurements and weight

Height: 383 mm
Width: 314 mm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Unknown by Anonymous


Production date: AD 1864-11


The present drawing is a later version of the oil 'The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke' of c. 1855-64, which was previously in the collection of Siegfried Sassoon and who presented it to the Tate Gallery (inv. no. T.598) in 1963. [For a further description of this picture see the 'Tate Gallery Report' 1963-4, p. 20, repr. facing p. 30, also see L. Binyon, "A note on Richard Dadd" in Magazine of Art, Washington, XXX, 1937, pp. 107, 125, 128, repr. p. 106; S. Sitwell, 'Narrative Pictures', 1937, pp. 70-2, 113, repr. pl. 100; J. Hadfield, 'A Book of Delights', 1954, p. 251, repr. facing p. 194 (in colour)]; Ricketts suggests that the Fitzwilliam replica may have been executed when Dadd moved from Bethlem to Broadmoor, without the original in front of him, which was no mean feat considering the minuteness of its detail. "The work is overlaid with calligraphic loops to a greater extent than in the oil painting and a spiral conveying the idea of a shell, occupies the centre, behind which the figures are the palest of ghosts."

School or Style


Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of ivory board

Techniques used in production

Watercolour : Pen, ink, point of the brush, watercolour on card ("Ivory Board" stamped top left corner) with traces of faint graphite underdrawing
Pen and ink

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Songe de la Fantasie
  • Location: Top left corner
  • Method of creation: Ink
  • Text: Rd. Dadd Novr. 1864
  • Location: Top left corner, below the above
  • Method of creation: Ink
  • Type: Signature
  • Text: Painted by / Rd / Dadd / an artist of / great promise who / murdered his father & was / imprisoned at Bedlam: / EWB saw him there at / work on "Saul in the Trenches(?) / he was then removed / to Broadmoor, & Dr. Meyer (?) / gave this to EWB (the / actual picture not an engraving)
  • Location: Verso
  • Method of creation: Label graphite

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: 3713
Primary reference Number: 10158
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 April 2023 Last processed: Tuesday 13 June 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) ""Songe de la Fantasie"" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-22 14:02:52

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{{cite web|url= |title="Songe de la Fantasie" |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-22 14:02:52|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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