Thomas Stothard

Shakespearean Characters

exhibited 1813

Not on display
Artist
Thomas Stothard 1755–1834
Medium
Oil paint on paper
Dimensions
Support: 267 x 930 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by Henry Vaughan 1900
Reference
N01830

Display caption

This painting depicts a procession of favourite characters from Shakespeare’s plays. From left to right, they are: Olivia, Malvolio, Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek (from Twelfth Night); Falstaff and his drunken associates (from The Merry Wives of Windsor); Celia and Rosalind (from As You Like It); Prospero and Miranda (from The Tempest); King Lear and Cordelia (from King Lear); Ophelia and Hamlet (from Hamlet); Lady Macbeth and the witches (from Macbeth). Instead of showing the characters in literally theatrical settings, Stothard, like other artists of the time including James Barry and Henry Fuseli, pioneered a more imaginative approach, treating the figures as poetic inventions.

Gallery label, April 2016

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