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Creator:
Richard Dadd, 1817–1886, British
Title:

Sketch to Illustrate the Passions: Suspense or Expectation

Additional Title(s):

Sketch for the Passions: Suspense or Expectation

Part Of:

Collective Title: Sketches for the Passions

Date:
1855
Medium:
Watercolor, gray ink, and graphite on moderately thick, slightly textured, cream wove paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 14 1/8 x 10 1/4 inches (35.9 x 26 cm)
Inscription(s)/Marks/Lettering:

Signed and dated in black ink, lower left: "by. Richard Dadd. Bethlehem Hospital London _ June 2nd 1855. __ ."

Inscribed in black ink, lower left: "-Sketch to illustrate the Passions. Suspense. or Expectation."; in black ink, lower left: "by. Richard Dadd. Bethlehem Hospital London _ June 2nd 1855. __ ."

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1981.25.2006
Classification:
Drawings & Watercolors
Collection:
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
barrel | boys | buildings | cannon (artillery) | children | climbing | cloth doll | genre subject | girls | houses | illustration | leisure | mischief | rocking horse | self-portrait | study (visual work) | toys
Associated People:
Dadd, Richard (1817–1886), painter
Access:
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:8822
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In 1843 Richard Dadd suffered a mental breakdown that led him to murder his father. For the rest of his life he was incarcerated, first in Bethlem Hospital and from 1864 in the newly opened Broadmoor “criminal lunatic asylum.” Allowed the use of brushes and paints, Dadd produced a body of extraordinary and unsettling paintings and drawings. This watercolor of a group of children watching a boy prepare to annihilate a doll belongs to a major series titled Sketches to Illustrate the Passions that Dadd began in 1853 and worked on for the next few years.

Gallery label for Great British Watercolors from the Paul Mellon Collection at the Yale Center for British Art (Yale Center for British Art, 2008-06-09 - 2008-08-17)



The children are probably Dadd's brothers and sisters, with the artist himself as the boy in the middle. His eldest brother Robert is about to light the toy cannon; the children's faces all reflect varying degrees of "suspense or expectation.."

Gallery label for Pleasures and Pastime (Yale Center for British Art, 1990-02-21 - 1990-04-29)

Great British Watercolors from the Paul Mellon Collection at the Yale Center for British Art (Yale Center for British Art, 2008-06-09 - 2008-08-17) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Great British Watercolors from the Paul Mellon Collection at the Yale Center for British Art (The State Hermitage Museum, 2007-10-23 - 2008-01-13) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Great British Watercolors from the Paul Mellon Collection at the Yale Center for British Art (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2007-07-11 - 2007-09-30) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Richard Dadd Exhibition (Davis & Langdale Co., Inc., 1994-05-03 - 1994-06-03) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Pleasures and Pastimes (Yale Center for British Art, 1990-02-21 - 1990-04-29) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Elisabeth Fairman, Pleasures and pastimes, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, 1990, p. 32, no. 241, DA485 F25 1990 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Richard Dadd : a loan exhibition, Davis & Langdale Co., Inc., New York, 1994, p. 11, no. 16, Vertical File V0271 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Yale Center for British Art, Great British watercolors : from the Paul Mellon Collection, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2007, pp. 194-96, no. 86, ND1928 .Y35 2007 (LC)+ Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]


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