Christie's, 10 March 1995, lot 118; Private collection
This is an autograph version of Joseph Noel Paton’s master-piece, one of the most famous nineteenth century paintings in the National Gallery of Scotland, The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania, which was first exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1850. The 1850 picture was based upon the artist’s RSA Diploma work painted six years earlier and formed a pendant with The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh) exhibited in 1847 where it won a prize in the Westminster Hall competition. The pictures depict the king and queen of the fairies arguing over the custody on an Indian foundling, while their naked retinue cavort around them in a carousing wave of fleshy tumbling bodies amid the fungi and wild-flowers of the floor of the enchanted forest.
Original canvas. Undulates slightly in upper left corner and minor frame abrasions along left edge; otherwise the work appears in good overall condition.
Ultraviolet light reveals an opaque varnish; the signature may have been strengthened.
Held in a gilt plaster frame. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."