JOHN ANSTER FITZGERALD
Fitzgerald is one of the most delicate and imaginative of the Victorian fairy painters. More than any of the other artists working in this genre, he was able to suggest the existence of a coherent alternate world, which was both ethereal and bizarre. His fairy subjects sometimes show the fantasies of a human sleeper, for instance the erotic dream of a young girl represented in 'The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of' (Collection of Valerie, Lady Scott). He also depicts fairies as the inhabitants of the natural world, perhaps contending with mice or living in birds' nests.
Almost nothing is known of his life, although he exhibited in most of the major London exhibitions from 1845 onwards, showing works at the Royal Academy, British Institution, Society of British Artists, New Watercolour Society and Dudley Gallery. The titles of his exhibited paintings reveal a diverse range of interests. His works include portraits, modern and historical genre pictures, Shakespearean and religious subjects.