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Altar Cup of Aagerup

Date: ca. 1880
12 x 18 1/8 in. (30.5 x 46 cm.)
Medium: pen and watercolor
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Gilbert Davis Collection
Object Number: 59.55.446
Label Text:A band of murderous trolls attempts to stop a fleeing rider in this violent scene from a Danish fairy tale. One of the many versions of this subject that he produced over the course of his career, Doyle made this highly finished drawing for exhibition rather than to illustrate a publication. The dense, overlapping layers of colored wash mimic the rich quality of oil paint. Though the original tale describes the scene as taking place in a ploughed field, Doyle chose to set the struggle in a dark forest. The twisted trees in the background enhance the frantic, nightmarish quality of the action taking place.