Fuseli first read Shakespeare's plays as a student in Zürich. This painting illustrates the scene in A Midsummer Night's Dream in which the Fairy Queen Titania is punished for her pride by her husband Oberon. He casts a spell which makes her fall in love with Bottom, whose head has been magically replaced by that of an ass. Here Titania orders her fairies to serve his every whim. Shakespeare's enchanted realm held a special appeal for Fuseli, allowing him to explore the supernatural world. This painting was commissioned by the publisher John Boydell as part of his 'Shakespeare Gallery'.


  • Title: Titania and Bottom
  • Creator: Henry Fuseli
  • Date Created: Around 1790
  • Provenance: Presented by Miss Julia Carrick Moore in accordance with the wishes of her sister 1887
  • Physical Dimensions: w2756 x h2172 mm
  • Original Title: Titania and Bottom
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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