Richard Dadd

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Richard Dadd


Born 1817 - Died 1886

  • Artworks
  • Biography
  • Images of the Artist


Richard Dadd was a founder member of “The Clique,” other artists involved being Frith, Augustus Egg, and H N O’Neil. In the early 1840s, Dadd travelled to the Middle East. The myriad of unnacustomed sights and experiences of this journey changed the work of the painter, and he exhibited the first signs of the insanity that was to define the rest of his life.

Dadd’s father - it is tempting to say Dadd’s Dad - was advised to take his overwrought son for a stay in the country to calm him down. Tragically the by now insane painter, stabbed his father to death in Cobham, Surrey, then quickly left the country. Dadd intended to kill the Austrian Emperor, but stabbed a fellow passenger on a stagecoach in France, and was arrested and brought back to England. He spent the rest of his life in institutions for the insane, where he was generally well-treated and encouraged to continue to paint.

The pictures painted by Dadd are densely packed with fantastic fairy figures, and are both fascinating original works of art, and a record of his schizophrenia. Artists in many fields often pay a high price for their creativity, and their legacy to their public. Richard Dadd, perhaps, paid a higher price than anyone else.

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