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Throughout the late eighteenth century, subjects from Shakespeare provided an increasingly popular source for illustration, culminating in the Shakespeare Gallery of Boydell, which opened in 1789. Stothard, who contributed two subjects to the Boydell venture, also produced this Shakespearian assemblage which was exhibited in 1813. The choice of characters for inclusion here is a fair indication of the plays most popular in the first decade of the nineteenth century: from the left can be seen Malvolio, Falstaff and Prince Hal, Lear and Cordelia, Macbeth and the witches.

May 1991