Richard Dadd

Richard Dadd. “Portrait of a Young Man”, 1853, Oil on Canvas, Tate Museum, London

Nineteenth century English painter Richard Dadd was a promising young artist who trained at the Royal Academy Schools,, Dadd undertook a grand tour of the Eastern Mediterranean between 1842 and 1843, encompassing Italy and Greece as well as the Ottoman Empire.

Upon his return, Richard Dadd’s life unravelled. Insanity ran in the family, and Dadd started showing signs – not least believing that he was under the power of the Egyptian god Osiris.

Then, in the summer of 1843, Dadd stabbed his father to death in Cobham Park, near Chatham, and escaped to France. Eventually, he was caught and extradited to England, where he spent the rest of his life in criminal lunatic asylums, first at Bethlem Hospital in South London, and then at Broadmoor. During more than four decades of confinement, Dadd produced many paintings.

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