Richard Dadd spent over forty-two years in Bethlem and Broadmoor Hospitals.

This is a superb example of a technique which Dadd refined and perfected during his time in hospital. The whole picture is stippled with the point of the brush in microscopic specks of soft colour, so insubstantial that sometimes it seems to be painted on gauze, yet so precise and sharp that every detail is seen with hallucinatory clarity. The subject is unexpected and appealing, combining an English country inn on the left and Mediterranean landscape with an exotic, if slightly improbable, hill town on the right. These are held in perfect balance by the elegant horse which gazes out across the distant plain while its rider turns back towards the group behind him. Dadd shows himself a master of design, but in this work he achieves such easy naturalism, particularly in the drawing of the figures.


Michael & Steven Rich Ltd, Bucks.

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