John Anster Fitzgerald
British, 1823 - 1906
The Stuff that Dreams are made of
If this were the only one of Fitzgerald's dreaming girl paintings to have come to light, which was indeed the situation until recently, it would seem to be no more than its title suggests. A young girl wearing an embroidered Turkish jacket over a flimsy white dress, with a white sash and a wreath in her hair, lies on a bed in a tranquil sleep. Dreaming, she sees herself holding hands with a bearded man in fancy historical costume, standing under a large bunch of mistletoe. In a second episode she is chased by a goblin. Grotesque but merry goblins with pointed features and stick-like limbs caper about the bed, some drinking steaming liquid from cups, some playing musical instruments. Almost all signs that the dream is induced by narcotics have been eliminated, and the subject rendered fit for public exhibition.
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