Tales of fairies, or faeries, have been inspiring the arts for hundreds of years, particularly during the Victorian era. Interest in Britain's cultural heritage, myths, legends and folk lore underwent a revival during this time. The Romantic movement was born as a reaction to the Industrial revolution, the new philosophies and theories presented during the Age of Enlightenment, and advances in science and technology.
Works of literature, such as Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen, and William Shakespeare's The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream, inspired artists like Richard Dadd, and Arthur Rackham. J.M. Barrie's play Peter Pan helped the popularity of fairies continue into the twentieth century and encouraged children to show that they believed in them by clapping their hands. Tinkerbell still remains one of the world's best known fairies: with the 2003 film version of Peter Pan bringing her back to life with the cry ' I do believe in fairies... I do, I do!'
In 1920 two British girls claimed that there really were fairies at the bottom of their garden, and had the photographs to prove it: the Cottingley Fairies sparked a controversy around the world that was to last for decades.
Today fairy art is as popular as ever, and they can be found in all shapes, sizes and styles. Here are just a few examples
This is a card with my drawing in coloured pencil, perfect for any little (or big) girl!
Take look at this cute t-shirt. How could anyone say 'No'?
Here's a mousepad with a beautiful, sparkling fairy in front of her magical tree
A mug with a wonderful gothic inspired, fantasy, anime illustration. One of many by artist Meredith Dillman
A card with sweet and simple whimsical cartoon design
A fun mousepad with colourful, playful fairy enjoying a bubble bath
This beautiful baby is one of the many fantasy characters created by Creechers
Here's a very glamorous fairy dressed in red
This is an elegant, modern version of an old vintage drawing
I love this style, very cool.
"Brooke" Pet Fish Couture Fairy Art Postcards by mykajelina
Get your post card printing done with Zazzle
A fresh and funky t-shirt from PeppersPolishMafia
I love the originality and quirkiness of this beautiful 'ugly' fairy design
Another different kind of fairy is depicted in this wonderful sketch