George Richmond

The Fatal Bellman (‘The Robber’)

1827

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
George Richmond 1809–1896
Medium
Line engraving on paper
Dimensions
Image: 70 x 48 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Mrs John Richmond 1922
Reference
N03692

Display caption

Richmond's inspiration in this print came from Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth'. The words in the upper margin are those spoken by Lady Macbeth while her husband is murdering Duncan, King of Scotland. Richmond might well have been drawn to the subject of Macbeth through his knowledge of at least one of William Blake's large colour prints, 'Pity', which also illustrated Shakespeare's words.'The Fatal Bellman' sets out to recreate the imagery contained within a character's speech rather than the actual incident which is being described.

Gallery label, August 2004

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