|"Lily Fairy" 1888 by|
Luis Ricardo Falero
via Wikimedia Commons
|Illustrations from "The Water-Babies - A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby" by Charles Kingsley, illustrated by Warwick Goble [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons|
|"Study for The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania" By Joseph Noel Paton - Unknown, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=111976|
Hand in hand with this delightsome escapism was a renewed fascination with the paranormal. In addition to experimenting with the supernatural through spirit rappings, table tipping, and séances, many notable people argued for the reality of faeries on scientific grounds. One of the top proponents of their existence was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author and creator of Sherlock Holmes.
It is also a fact that Arthur’s father, Charles Doyle, firmly believed in faeries, and produced many paintings of them throughout his life. He was just one of countless artists who based their entire careers on producing fanciful artwork of the faery realm. More than a few of these paintings, however, were known to have been produced under the influence of drugs. In Victorian England, laudanum, cocaine, morphine, opium and many other mind-altering substances were readily available, and famous faery artists such as John Anster Fitzgerald and Richard Dadd experimented with drugs freely, citing them as sources of inspiration.
|"The Stuff that Dreams are made of" By John Anster Fitzgerald, 1858 - http://art-magique.blogspot.com/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20746146|
Perhaps that’s why some of the major faery works included not only the beautiful but the ugly. Demonic-looking creatures appeared side by side with lovely and innocent sprites. Grotesque beings interacted with sublime. It’s no surprise that a number of famous faery artists (including Charles Doyle) ended up in asylums for the rest of their lives.
|The Grim Series by Dani Harper|
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