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The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania 1847

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
Oberon and Titania stand reunited and are about to resolve the magically induced confusion between the two human lovers shown sleeping apart. Paton painted this as a sequel to his diploma picture of the fairy rulers' quarrel (in the Royal Scottish Academy collection) and again based it on the parallel episode in Shakespeare's play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. This painting of the reconciliation won a prize in the competition for the decoration of the new Houses of Parliament in 1847. It could be interpreted as an allegory of harmonious government. In 1849 Paton painted a second version of ‘The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania’ which is in the Scottish National Gallery collection (NG 293).

Glossary Open


Where the ‘story’ of a work has a deeper underlying meaning – often used for the representation of grand, abstract ideas.

Royal Scottish Academy

The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) was formed in Edinburgh in 1826 by Scottish artists who felt alienated by what they perceived as the elitism of the Royal Institution and its management of contemporary art exhibitions. In 1835, the RSA secured exhibition rights in the Royal Institution building, which had been erected on The Mound by the Board of Manufactures in 1826. The RSA and the Board frequently argued over responsibilities for advanced art education. From 1859, the RSA shared the premises of the new National Gallery of Scotland under the Board’s custody. In 1910, after transferring most of its art collections to the Gallery, the RSA gained exclusive tenancy of the former Royal Institution building, where it continues to hold large-scale annual exhibitions.

Allegory, Royal Scottish Academy


  • Acc. No. NG 294
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 76.20 x 122.60 cm (Framed: 107.40 x 153.00 x 9.80 cm)
  • Credit Purchased by the Royal Scottish Academy 1848; transferred and presented to the National Gallery of Scotland 1910