The Enchanted Tree

Richard Doyle British

Not on view

Doyle belonged to family of artists and was trained by his father the satirist John Doyle. He joined the staff of "Punch Magazine" at the age of nineteen and soon redesigned the journal's now famous title page. This watercolor marks the moment when, after great success as an illustrator, Doyle turned his attention to producing exhibition watercolors. "The Enchanted Tree" was shown at the Royal Academy in 1868 and centers on a large elm. From its extended roots, exuberant fairies spill out into the woods as the sun sets. The group includes a king, who gleefully kicks off his crown, followed by his queen and baby. A bevy of young women dressed in pale blue gowns and wearing circlets of flowers, awake in a bower, or chases butterflies. At lower right, a musical troupe playing a tambourine, harp, cymbals, horn and violin lead armored figures out through a rooted passageway while above, workers carrying tools set off purposefully into the landscape.

The Enchanted Tree, Richard Doyle (British, London 1824–1883 London), Watercolor, gouache, gummed watercolor, applied in layered, opaque and transparent washes with the underlying paper revealed in minute areas throughout the composition

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