Sir Hubert Von Herkomer's Bottom Asleep

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Sir Hubert Von Herkomer’s “Bottom Asleep” depicts the scene from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Nick Bottom, after Robin had cast a spell on him, sleeping under a tree with the head of a donkey. This painting contains elements of magic, as seen by the two fairies observing Bottom in his sleep. The scene gives the onset of the magical world being involved in the real world as seen in the fairies watching Bottom after he had been transformed into a donkey. In Herkomer’s work, he uses the art elements of color, value, lines, and space. By using the artistic element of value, Herkomer accentuates Bottom’s sleep, as well as the fairies that examine him. The painting was made with dark tints in the surroundings, so focus is on Bottom’s tattered red shirt, as well as the fairie’s golden skin glistening in the sunrise. Bottom sticks out from the background because of his clothes, but the fairies stand out due to their skin. This shows contrast between the mortal world and the world of the fairies, as Bottom is duller, while the fairies are more extravagant. After being entranced into loving Bottom, Titania orders her fairies to make sure he has a good night’s rest, “To have my love to bed and to arise; And pluck the wings from painted butterflies.To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes. Nod…show more content…
In his painting, Fuseli sought to capture arguably the most comedic moment in the play, which occurs when Titania awakens and falls in love with the donkey-headed Bottom. He does not simply represent the scene as Shakespeare portrays it in his words; instead, Fuseli interprets it, sometimes taking the figurative and making it literal and other times exaggerating Shakespeare’s portrayal of the beautiful Titania falling for the ludicrous Nick
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