Flower Fairy Figurines Cicely Mary Barker

cicely mary barker flower fairies

The Dog Violet Fairy

by Cicely Mary Barker

(left); with


Honeysuckle Fairy

past Cicely Mary Barker

(center); and

The Acorn Fairy

past Cicely Mary Barker

(right), via the Flower Fairies Website

Cicely Mary Barker was an English artist who is nearly well-known for her work depicting fairies, flowers, and the forest. Her work, highly influenced by childhood whimsy, is revered for its fantastical elements. Her most notable works are those depicting fairies, and she is nevertheless remembered today for her

Blossom Fairies

books. Read on to discover out more about her life, influences, artistic process, and legacy.

Young Cicely Mary Barker

cicely mary barker portrait

Immature Cicely Mary Barker

, via the Flower Fairies Website

Cicely Mary Barker was born in Croydon, Surrey, England, on June 28th, 1895. From an early age, art was a vital presence in Barker’due south life: from her father’southward own fine art to the illustrated storybooks she read every bit a child. In her adolescence, Barker would bear witness to be a promising student, becoming the youngest member of the

Croydon Fine art Society


age sixteen

By 1923, her very kickoff volume would exist published and would receive a positive and lucrative response, launching her illustration career. Cicely Mary Barker’south work contains all the whimsy and amuse of the

Art Nouveau

aesthetic, as well equally the precision and fine detail of the Pre-Raphaelites. Her virtually famous works, the

Flower Fairies


, were created with such careful observation you would retrieve she was a fairy botanist. Information technology’s no wonder that Barker’s

Blossom Fairies

books are still being published today, and her art is adored by those of all ages.

Fine art Movements That Inspired The Bloom Fairies

pia de tolommei dante gabriel rossetti

La Pia de’ Tolommei

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

, 1868. via Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence

Cicely Mary Barker, an English native, born at the end of the 19th century, grew up during a unique period of art history. After the brusque reign of the

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

, several other creative and literary movements sprouted from those initial seeds. The


were initially rebels to the elite fine art world and the Purple Academy, creating art that directly contrasted what was considered “fine” by the art establishment. Although the PRB was merely active for a couple of years, their ideas about art and creativity stoked the fires of many artists, poets, and craftspeople. The


Movement, the

Craft Movement
, and eventually, Art Nouveau, would all abound out of the ideas that made the PRB and then radical and different.

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All of these intersecting fine art movements shared a few key elements: observation and representation of natural environments, mythological and fairytale subjects, and attending to detail. Information technology’s no coincidence that all of these traits tin can be constitute in Barker’s piece of work: it is said that she grew up reading the illustrated storybooks of artists Kate Greenaway and Randolph Caldecott, competing illustrators who were both affiliates of the Pre-Raphaelites.

Barker’s Art Manner And Procedure

the lilac fairy flower fairies

The Lilac Fairy

, from

Flower Fairies of the Trees

by Cicely Mary Barker
, 1940, via the Bloom Fairies Website

In Cicely Mary Barker’southward painting,

The Lilac Fairy

, i is immediately struck past the minute details of the lilac itself: tiny purple flowers clustered together surrounded past fat green leaves. Of class, the nigh defining quality of a lilac is its perfume, and so Barker pays homage to this by having her lilliputian fairy take a deep inhale. Barker is said to have fabricated every endeavour to paint and draw from life.

Whether on her visits to Kew Gardens, (the Imperial Botanic Gardens in Richmond) where staff members would share plant samples with Barker for studying or during vacations at her family unit’s summertime abode in Storrington, inspiring environments were never besides far. All of Barker’south Flower Fairy illustrations are fabricated with this professional botanist quality and could exist included in a botany textbook if not for the petty winged creatures interacting with the floral specimens. In

Bloom Fairies of the Wayside

, Barker writes,

 “I have drawn all the plants and flowers very carefully, from real ones; and everything that I have said well-nigh them is every bit truthful equally I could arrive.”

red clover fairy flower fairies

The Carmine Clover Fairy

, from

Flower Fairies of the Wayside

by Cicely Mary Barke

r, 1948, via the Blossom Fairies Website

In add-on to ascertainment of the plants and their natural environments, Cicely Mary Barker also had the children who attended her sis Dorothy’s school dress every bit fairy models. She even went so far as to arts and crafts the costumes, complete with fairy wings, and posed the children in fanciful scenes. The fairy wings of Barker’s fairies are all reminiscent of insects such as dragonflies, butterflies, bees, and moths, and are oftentimes purposely paired with a specific blossom to create an environmentally aware analogy, such as the willow fairy with her dragonfly wings who plays in the h2o of a pond.

willow fairy flower fairies trees cicely mary barker

The Willow Fairy


from Flower Fairies of the Trees

past Cicely Mary Barker
, 1940, via the Flower Fairies Website

All of these steps of Cicely Mary Barker’s process come up together for the enchanting result that thousands have adored for decades. It is a carefully counterbalanced blend of




alike. The thorough studies of plants, insects, and people are exhibited on a fanciful composition, creating an educational and imaginative feel.

“The Fairy Craze” Of The Early 20th Century

rose four flowers cycle alphonse mucha


from the

Four Flowers Wheel

Alphonse Mucha
, 1898, via Mucha Museum, Prague

Peter Pan

, or,

Peter and Wendy

by J.M. Barrie

, was first performed as a play in 1904 in London and published as a novel in 1911. Although not without skepticism, the play was mostly received with warmth and a communal sense of child-like wonder. Although Barrie’southward piece of work is not the directly cause for it, perchance information technology acted equally a catalyst for a long-suppressed sense of wonder and imagination in Edwardian England. With the new modernization promised by the Industrial Revolution, there seems to have been a societal pushback or revival for the “old ways”, manifesting itself in the Arts and Crafts Movement,

Art Nouveau
, and the demand for fairy stories.

mulberry fairy cicely mary barker

The Mulberry Fairy

, from

Bloom Fairies of the Copse

by Cicely Mary Barker

, 1940, via the Flower Fairies Website

“Hither we get circular the Mulberry bush!”

You remember the rhyme, oh yes!

But which of you know

How Mulberries abound

On the slender branches, dropping low?

Non many of you, I estimate.

Someone goes round the Mulberry bush-league

When nobody’s there to see;

He takes the best

And he leaves the rest,

From tiptop to toe like a Mulberry drest:

This fat little fairy’s he!

In Cicely Mary Barker’due south

Flower Fairies

books, at that place is a poem she wrote alongside every illustration. Each of these whimsical verses offer playful explanations for natural phenomena, such as the leaves turning in autumn, the falling of acorns, or possibly your missing sock. Fairies are painted every bit mischievous but harmless creatures who are caretakers of the natural world but are likewise constantly at play. Barker’due south fairies specifically are e’er modeled subsequently children, then this is in line with England’s full general association of fairies being airheaded kid-similar beings.

Legacy Of Cicely Mary Barker

flower fairies book

Flower Fairies of the Autumn

by Cicely Mary Barker

, 2018 edition, via Penguin Random Firm (left); with

Volume of the Flower Fairies

by Cicely Mary Barker

, 1927 (possibly 1st edition), published past Black and Sons Limited, via AbeBooks (right)

Cicely Mary Barker died in 1973 at 70-seven years old. She spent her life creating art and poetry and finding magic in the mundane. Barker’s

Flower Fairies

are a harmonious pairing of realism and Romanticism, creating in viewers a sense of child-similar wonder no matter how sometime they are. Her piece of work continues to be published to this twenty-four hours, and that is perhaps a testament to the indelible desire for enchantment in readers from all over the world.

Author Image


Frances DilworthArt Historian w/ BA Art History & Conservation
Frances graduated from Rutgers University with a major in art history and a minor in English language. Amid their many interests, medieval art history comes to the front end. They are currently researching the symbolic, cultural, and practical meanings of the medieval garden in their thesis, Gardens of the Arts and crafts Movement and Their Medieval Roots; which explores the many means in which medieval art and culture were adopted by the artists of the 19th century. As a non-binary scholar, they are too passionate about researching and writing well-nigh underrepresented groups throughout history, such equally the LGBTQIA+ community. 1 twenty-four hours, Frances hopes to publish a book that examines a more inclusive and cross-cultural perspective of medieval art.

Sumber: https://www.thecollector.com/cicely-mary-barker-flower-fairies/

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