Saturday, May 29, 2010

John Anster Fitzgerald - The Chase of the White Mouse

John Anster Fitzgerald is chiefly known as one of the outstanding exponents of victorian fairy painting, and is also known as ‘Fairy Fitzgerald.’ Having had no known formal artistic training, Fitzgerald was regularly exhibiting at the Royal Academy by 1845, at the age of 23. Dating from the early 1860s, The Chase of the White Mouse (estimate: £180,000-250,000) is one of the artist’s most important and highly esteemed works. The star lot of the sale, this painting encapsulates all the key elements of Fitzgerald’s fairy subjects, boasting iridescent colours and superb detail. The playfulness and whimsy have been noted as being savagely undercut by touches of cruelty, characteristic of the darker undercurrent of so many fairytale stories.

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