John Anster Fitzgerald
British, 1823 - 1906
The Fairies' Banquet
Many of the collections of fairy mythology published earlier in the 19th century include reported sightings of fairies banqueting and accounts of humans eating fairy food. The narcotic purple convolvulus may indicate that the food is not good for humans to eat. The message of this flower can be 'sleep' or 'death'. The cult of the miniature originated in 17th century poetry, but there is evidence that Fitzgerald gleaned inspiration from books of fairy lore and myth, particularly in his familiarity with popular superstitions. Like the Scottish artist Noel Paton, he may have appreciated, or benefited from, the rich heritage of Celtic myth that investigation into folklore had uncovered.
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