Victorian Painting - The Faun and the Fairies

The Faun and the Fairies by Daniel Maclise

The Faun and the Fairies by Daniel Maclise

Daniel Maclise was an Irish history, literary and portrait painter, and an illustrator, who worked for most of his life in London, England.  He painted the "Faun and the Fairies" sometime before 1834 in oil on board. 

The faun, who is half Pan and half Green Man, looks upon the dancing fairies with a rather amused smile. He is placed above a cave in which ugly monsters are watching the frolicking of the fairies and almost acts like their protector during this full moon celebration. 

The framing of scenes was a common approach for the artist and in this painting he used the fairies to frame in his main focal point. The outer border is a double rainbow, which glows magically as if illuminating the scene. 

Daniel Maclise has also illustrated many books and I especially liked the illustrations in Moore's Irish Melodies. Check out this rare book cover - what I would not give to have this!

Moore's Irish Melodies were set to music by Sir John Stevenson (1807-1834). The songs included "The Minstrel Boy" and "Believe Me" songs that were popular during the Victorian era. 

Books such as this were often purchased by women and kept in drawing rooms. Their beautiful illustrations were much admired and provided a great source of income for the illustrators of that time. 

Moore's Irish Melodies
By Thomas Moore, Daniel Maclise

I found Moore's Irish Melodies on Amazon, not quiet as petty to look at, but probably a great resource for those who love to sing Irish songs and look at the black and white illustrations. 

Victorian Fairy Painting
By Pamela White Trimpe, Charlotte Gere

I discovered the Faun and the Fairies in my Victorian Fairy Painting book, which is just filled with Victorian Art and includes information about the prominent painters and illustrators of that era, such as as John Anster Fitzgerald, Joeph Noel Paton and others. Well written the book also includes information about music and theatre plays of that time and is just simple beautiful to look at.  The child in me still gets delighted over pretty fairies, gorgeous forest settings thats alive with interesting creatures and romantic imagery that just transports you to the realm of fantasy. How about you? Have you grown up and find this childish, or do you share my secret love?

Fun Facts:

The faun is a half human–half goat (from the head to the waist being human, but with the addition of goat horns) manifestation of forest and animal spirits that would help or hinder humans at whim. Romans believed fauns inspired fear in men traveling in lonely, remote or wild places. They were also capable of guiding humans in need, as in the fable of The Satyr and the Traveller, in the title of which Latin authors substituted the word Faunus. Fauns and satyrs were originally quite different creatures: whereas fauns are half-man and half-goat, satyrs originally were depicted as stocky, hairy, ugly dwarfs or woodwoses with the ears and tails of horses or asses. Satyrs also were more woman-loving than fauns, and fauns were rather foolish where satyrs had more knowledge. Source Wikipedia

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