Stothard's most significent contributions to the art of his time were his numerous designs for engraved book illustrations. In their scale and handling these two watercolours typify the sort of work which Stothard produced for such illustrations, although no prints after them have so far been identified. The text for the 'Sohrab' has also not been identified. The illustration for Shakespeare's play 'King John' can be associated with an 1802 engraving by James Heath after an oil painting. Lady Constance, mother of Arthur, is shown having heard that she has been betrayed by Philip, King of France: 'my grief's so great/that no supporter but the huge firm earth/can hold it up'.
Gallery label, September 2004
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