- Henry Singleton 1766–1839
- Oil paint on canvas
- Support: 1003 × 1257 mm
frame: 1150 × 1405 × 83 mm
- Bequeathed by the artist 1840
This picture depicts Ariel, the magical spirit in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. It was first exhibited accompanied by lines from Ariel’s last song: ‘On the bat’s back I do fly, After summer, merrily.’ Singleton’s decision to paint this entertaining and theatrical subject was a response to popular tastes of the time. The artist had begun his career as a promising history painter but many felt he did not realise his full potential.
Gallery label, October 2019
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