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Thomas Heatherley made this “Fairy resting on a mushroom” [1]. As far as I could trace this is now in an unknown (private?) collection; this oil paint on canvas was made ca. 1860 [2]. The artist acted as principal of an art school in London, now named after him [3].


Several snails may be seen in this painting, only one has an animal (albeit without a tail). Interesting is the scene in the left-hand corner, where a (somewhat stylised) snail is pointing its two larger tentacles forward to oppose three men with different weaponry. It is a very nice reference to the ‘knight v. snail’ theme in medieval manuscripts. As far as I know, made before this theme surfaced in art historian literature. Also notice the angel-like figure standing on top of the shell; it reminds me of the Statue of Liberty in New York.


[1] http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_212770/Thomas-Heatherley/Fairy-resting-on-a-Mushroom.
[2] http://to.ly/BkL0.
[3] http://to.ly/BkK5.