William Daniell composed some extraordinary images in his capacity as topographer, his pictorial imagination charged by the wonders of the world, but here, he develops a highly original and disconcerting genre, the full frontal animal set against the Landscape. What may have started as an exercise in realism appears now a surreal toy theatre of discrepancies of scale. These images contain monstrous images of animals, either too big or too small, and with none of the usual delicacy about reinforcing the middle ground. It is a tendency evident in several English artists, and in particular those termed 'Romantic' (Crome and John Nash say) to press the object further than is comfortable up against the picture plane, set the landscape back and reduce the middle distance. There are of course many other devices of composition here - in plates from two of the three volumes.


Richard Doyle must have remembered the 'African Birds' nests' (third row above) for the main colour plates of his In Fairyland.


to a selection of other work by the Daniells