Daniel Maclise Scene from ‘Twelfth Night’ (‘Malvolio and the Countess’) exhibited 1840

Artwork details

Artist
Daniel Maclise 1806–1870
Title
Scene from ‘Twelfth Night’ (‘Malvolio and the Countess’)
Date Exhibited 1840
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 737 x 1245 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Robert Vernon 1847
Reference
N00423

Display caption

This picture shows an incident in Act 3 scene 4 of William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night. Malvolio is a pompous steward in the household of the rich Countess Olivia. Fed up with his behaviour, his colleagues trick him into believing that Olivia is in love with him. A forged letter in Olivia's name leads Malvolio to think that it is his yellow cross-gartered stockings which particularly attract her to him. Thus dressed, Malvolio's ridiculous appearance and behaviour while he attempts to court Olivia in her garden leads to him being imprisoned as a madman.

November 2001

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