English, 1817 - 1886

Italian Rustic Musicians

Date: ca. 1878

Richard Dadd’s biography constitutes one of the great tragedies of British art history. At twenty he began studying at the Royal Academy in London, by twenty-two he was exhibiting publicly, and by twenty-four he had achieved acclaim for two paintings based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and an important decorative commission for a noble patron. But in 1843, after a trip abroad through Europe and the Middle East, Dadd’s life fell apart. Suffering from delusions and paranoia, Dadd murdered his own father.

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Medium: Watercolor and pencil on paper

Inscriptions: Signed: "R. Dadd"; Inscribed lower left: "Italian Rustic Musicians/Light from the Left"

Dimensions: H: 10 1/2 x W: 8 in.

Accession: 0238

Collection: Julian Wood Glass Jr. Collection

Category: Works on Paper - Subject Pictures

Tags: Ruins , Rome , Musicians

Purchased November 5, 1990 from Thomas Agnew & Sons. From the collections of Richard Wyndham; Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, Bt., (as of 1975); private collection, until 1988. Exhibited at The Tate Gallery, London; Ferens Art Gallery, Hull; Municipal Art Gallery, Wolverhampton; and Bristol City Art Gallery, 1974-1976, "The Late Richard Dadd" no. 212, illus, pp. 31, 136-137 (As collection of Sir Sacheverell Sitwell). Recorded in Sacheverell Sitwell, "Narrative Pictures: A Survey of English Genre and It's Paintera (1936)", p. 73; David Greysmith, "Richard Dadd; The Rock and Castle of Seclusion (1973)", pp. 126, 184; and Patricia Alldridge, "Richard add (1974)" page 105. Exhibited at Davis & Longdale Company, New York May 3, 1994 to June 3, 1994 Richard Dadd exhibit.