The Faerie Collection

Charlotte Gere wrote, in the exhibition catalog for ''Victorian Fairy Painting,'' in 1998: ''As modern industrial progress engulfed the English countryside, the Victorians embraced belief in fairies as a reaction to the disenchantment of the world.'' Fairies provided an escape from a new Darwinian existence into an occult and magical kingdom that existed apart from urban society. Fairy paintings show a half-seen, pixie realm in nature. - Michael Kimmelman