Richard Dadd asylum portrait set to bring $15,000 in UK sale

A masterful watercolour portrait by Richard Dadd, which was created during his time in a lunatic asylum, will sell at Bonhams on July 11.

Richard Dadd asylum Portrait of Mr George Bailey
The portrait offers a more rounded view of the artist


One of the most infamous British artists, Dadd is best known for his eerie paintings of fairies, which are highlighted by his celebrated piece, The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke.

However, Dadd's vast artistic talent is often overshadowed by his murder of his own father in 1843, which saw him subsequently admitted to the state criminal lunatic department of Bethlem Hospital in London. While incarcerated, Dadd painted a number of portraits of the staff at Bethlem, with Bonhams' Portrait of Mr George Bailey standing among the finest.

Bonhams' Charles O'Brien commented: "Dadd's tragic story is often remembered for the grim crimes he committed, but this painting sheds light on a sensitive and talented artist. Although he is better known for his extraordinary fairy paintings, it is these simpler and more subtle portrayals of those closest to him, that give us a rounded view of the artist."

The work sell with an estimate of £8,000-12,000 ($10,000-15,000) at the 19th Century Paintings, Drawings and Watercolours sale. The current world record for a Dadd work at auction stands with his depiction of Oberon and Titania from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, which sold for £1.6m at Christie's in 1992.

Check back with Paul Fraser Collectibles for the results from this exciting sale. In the meantime, take a look at some of our fantastic investment-grade artworks.



Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock