magic castle

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Francis Danby was an Irish painter of the Romantic era. He is known for his imaginative and dramatic landscapes. Danby initially developed his style when he was a central figure in a group of artists that would later become known as the Bristol School. Danby’s Bristol works were landscapes and topographical maps; however, by 1820 he was experimenting with literary, mythological and biblical themes. This atmospheric painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1841 with an unattributed citation for the title: “Oh! How can mortals hope to be happy, / When fairies grieve like this.” Previously, it had been wrongly catalogued For “Calypso Sorrows for Lost Love” (1825), but was later identified as “The Enchanted Castle.” This attribution is based on the fact that the themes of Eros, Psyche and the Enchanted Castle, taken from the satirical fables of the 2nd century writer Apuleus, are more suitable for the painting, while Calypso’s Themes are not suitable.

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83.8 x 116.8 cm

Victoria and Albert Museum

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