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“Puck and Fairies, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is the title of this work by Sir Joël Noël Paton (1821–1901)[1]; he made it around 1850. The painting is currently in the Yale Center of British Art, New Haven and is part of the Google Art Project [2]. The scene is after Act II, Scene II of Sheakespeare’s play [3].

One of the figures in the background has a shell as helmet on his head. The dextral shell has a colour pattern of spiral bands and a pink apertural lip.


In the foreground, half in the shadows, a living snail moves in on the scene. It is a Cepaea-like snail and the animal has raised all its tentacles to full attention.


[1] http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Joseph_Noel_Paton.
[2] YBA, inv. B1975.5.6. http://collections.britishart.yale.edu/vufind/Record/1667204; http://to.ly/Bnfn.
[3] http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/mids_2_2.html.