Richard Dadd was in a psychiatric institution when he painted the Fairy Fellers Master Stroke over the course of nine years. The painting is remarkable for the layering technique that lends the figures a type of bas relief. In 1865, after stopping work on, what he considered, the unfinished painting, he wrote a poem that accompanies it called “Elimination of a Picture & its Subject – called The Fellers’ Master Stroke.”
The poem, and the painting really, give me the impression that there is a secret communicated within that is yet to be uncovered. Perhaps it does this to a lot of people, since it does hold a secret in The Witches of Chiswick by Robert Rankin – one of many pieces of literature that refer to it.