the fairy feller's master-stroke

At the art academy where I started to teach in Holland in the 80s, there was a girl who painted fairies and witches. I agreed with the other teachers that this was bad, even as kitsch! Yet I, nor anyone else, could explain to the student what in essence, was the problem with her work. In the end all the different explanations seemed to come down to the same conclusion, that with this kind of subject matter it was impossible to make a painting. If this was true, it would imply that by definition certain subject matter was unpaintable. This bothered me extremely, but I lacked evidence to prove my point. Then I discovered a tradition not mentioned in my art history books and only found in Britain in the 19th century, a speciality of Victorian Times: The Fairy Painters! The father of Sherlock Holmes did it, but the one who really did it for me was Richard Dadd. Years later my excitement about my discovery had cooled off a bit and I had to admit that almost none of these fairy paintings would make my list of top 100 artworks. Except for one., The Fairy Fellers Master-Stroke by Richard Dadd is a fantastic painting on all levels. It is wonderfully composed, layered, intense, intricate, complicated, decorative, elegant and mean. The moral of the story is: The problem is not the subject matter.

Marlene Dumas

The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke (Live)
The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke (Live)

The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke // Live at the Rainbow.

Queen played three sold-out shows at the legendary Rainbow in 1974. The first was in March, the crowning glory of the Queen II tour; the band then returned for two more nights in November as a part of the Sheer Heart Attack tour.

This is a recording of “The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke” live at the Rainbow during the Queen II tour.


Queen - The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke


The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke, Queen II. 1974

Written about a painting done by Richard Dadd, with accompanying poem. It’s just so silly and I love all the mythology. Freddie’s Mythological and fairy tale songs are always so beautiful. Especially his ones about Rhye.

Today marks the anniversary of a killer album. I love love love march of the black queen, white queen (as it began), ogre battle and the fairy fellers masters stroke.