This painting shows a scene from the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. Oberon describes the scene:
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”
Titania, Queen of the Fairies, has had her eyes anointed by Puck with magic potion as she sleeps, to ensure that the moment she wakes she instantly falls in love with whatever she first sees. “What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?” asks Titania as Bottom’s singing wakes her. She sees Nick Bottom, a lowly weaver, whose head Puck has transformed into a donkey’s.
watercolour and black ink on 300gsm paper