Category Archives: painters (mad)

Mother and malignant child

In 1865, writes Dalrymple, 'the asylum notes show Richard Dadd to have been painting almost every day. His thoughts were mad, but he continued to work until he became too weak physically to go on. His output was considerable, of high quality and deeply disturbing. A mother and child, painted in 1860, were clearly modelled on the religious motif, but the mother holds the child without tenderness, and the child, still a baby, stares straight ahead with an appraising look of concentrated malignity. On a ledge in the background sits a blackish bird with ruffled feathers that appears to be a vulture'.

In 1865, writes Dalrymple, ‘the asylum notes show Richard Dadd to have been painting almost every day. His thoughts were mad, but he continued to work until he became too weak physically to go on. His output was considerable, of high quality and deeply disturbing. A mother and child, painted in 1860, were clearly modelled on the religious motif, but the mother holds the child without tenderness, and the child, still a baby, stares straight ahead with an appraising look of concentrated malignity. On a ledge in the background sits a blackish bird with ruffled feathers that appears to be a vulture’.

Halt in the Desert

c. 1845. Richard Dadd, writes Dalrymple, was alive to 'the beauty of the world and (incidentally) to the dignity of the people through whose lands he had traveled. It would take an Edward Said to see anything other than admiration'

c. 1845. Richard Dadd, writes Dalrymple, was alive to ‘the beauty of the world and (incidentally) to the dignity of the people through whose lands he had travelled. It would take an Edward Said to see anything other than admiration’