John Simmons (British, 1823-1876) Titania sleeping in the moonlight protected by her fairies

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Lot 86
John Simmons (British, 1823-1876) Titania sleeping in the moonlight protected by her fairies

Sold for £ 43,020 (US$ 55,641) inc. premium
John Simmons (British, 1823-1876)
Titania sleeping in the moonlight protected by her fairies
watercolour and bodycolour
50.5 x 59 cm. (20 x 23 1/2 in.) (arched top).

Footnotes

  • Initially working as a portrait painter, Simmons painted several scenes from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' during the 1860s. These finely depicted fantasies, combine a striking realism with a dreamlike otherworldliness. Like his contempories John Anster Fitzgerald and Atkinson Grimshaw, Simmons used an identifiable human model, in his 'Midsummer Night's Dream' paintings, who features elsewhere in his work in conventional contemporary dress.

    In this painting, Titania's fairies are lulling her to sleep, protecting her from the creatures of the night. The mortal lovers Hermia and Lysander walk in the distance and Puck stands on a rock waiting to cast his love spell. The fairies sing to Titania,

    'You spotted snakes with double tongue,
    Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
    Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong,
    Come not near our fairy queen.
    Philomel, with melody
    Sing in our sweet lullaby;
    Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby:
    Never harm,
    Nor spell nor charm,
    Come our lovely lady nigh;
    So, good night, with lullaby.'

    , Act II, Scene II.
John Simmons (British, 1823-1876) Titania sleeping in the moonlight protected by her fairies
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