courtesy of Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Richard Dadd (1817-1886) was a noted Victorian artist. He showed early promise upon entering the Royal Academy Schools and exhibiting his first works in 1837. He soon began to make a reputation and was considered to be one of the most promising young artists of his generation, and was also known for his gentleness and good nature, which led him to being employed by Sir Thomas Phillips on his grand tour of Europe, the Middle East and Egypt. Unfortunately it was during this ten month journey that Dadd started to show signs of severe mental distress and by the time he reached home he was suffering from paranoid delusions. In August 1843 he stabbed his father to death, believing him to be the devil in disguise. It was this act that led to Dadd spending the rest of his life in confinement at the Bethlem psychiatric hospital.
Whilst in hospital Dadd was encouraged by his doctors to continue painting, and he created many outstanding works, many of which reveal a mind actively exploring a world of fantasy. After 20 years at Bethlem, Dadd was moved to the Broadmoor Hospital, a psychiatric facility outside London. Here he remained, painting constantly and receiving infrequent visitors until January 1886, when he died "from an extensive disease of the lungs".
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-824: card size 7" x 5" (178mm x 127mm)