2.11.2011

"There are fairies at the bottom of our garden,"

or, as Andy Warhol would have it, at the bottom of HIS garden. 


I wasn't expecting to glean blogging fodder from the art historical feeding frenzy that is CAA (because this is not, whatever you might think, intended to be an art history blog). However, I was bowled over when I recognized JJ Grandville's enchanting 1847 illustrations, "Les Fleurs Animées," from one of my favorite old Bibliodyssey posts, in reference to Andy Warhol's characteristically cheeky, whimsical series of 1956, "In the Bottom of My Garden." I thought you might like to see them as well.


The comparison was remarked upon yesterday by Allison Unruh in a diverting talk on Warhol's rococo references, and all I could think of for the rest of the session was how I couldn't wait to go home and find more images! I'm not going to wax scholarly now...you can read more about the Warhol series here, and click here to see more Grandville.




Perhaps my fondness for these works has an even earlier origin - two beloved books of my childhood, Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies of the Garden and Elsa Beskow's The Flower Festival. Not to mention this. And oh goodness I almost forgot about THIS magical painting by Richard Dadd, one of my favorite little marvels at the Tate Britain:


Even the title, The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke, is enchanting. Unfortunately it loses a lot in reproduction (I really hate when people say that, it can sounds so smug,* but it's TRUE!!) but you should still click on the image - and that little magnifying glass - to see some fraction of the tiny details.

* Or maybe I'm just jealous of their mad world-traveler skillz.

Reproductions courtesy of Guy HepnerBibliodyssey and the Tate Britain.

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