John Simmons is a rare watercolour artist who in the 1860's and early 1870's painted a number of extremely finely wrought fantasy subjects, often showing fairies and mythical beasts in woodland settings. Sometimes these serve as illustrations to Shakespeare's plays as with this scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream(1), while on other occasions they are simply drawn from the `fairy otherworld'. The unearthly effects of light that Simmons instills into the works, as well as the extraordinary realism with which he represents the imaginary fauna and flora, give his works an almost hallucinatory quality.
1. For comparison see: Jeremy Maas, Victorian Painters, Barrie & Jenkins, London 1969, Page 161, illustration full page, page 162.
C. Wood, Fairies in Victorian Art, Antique Collectors' Club, 2000, p.8 (illustrated)