This illustrates a scene from Shakespeare's comedy 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'. The fat knight Sir John Falstaff has fallen on hard times. So he sets out to woo Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, both of whom hold the purse strings in their households. He writes identical love letters to both women. Aware of Falstaff's intentions, the wives aim to tease him and then show him up as a fool. Clint shows Falstaff making his first approach to Mistress Ford whose co-conspirator, Mistress Page, exits to the left. Her announcement of Master Ford's imminent return is the signal for Falstaff to be hidden in a laundry basket and dumped in the Thames.
Gallery label, March 1993
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