Henry Wallis

The Room in Which Shakespeare Was Born

1853

In Tate Britain

Artist
Henry Wallis 1830–1916
Medium
Oil paint on board
Dimensions
Support: 292 x 419 mm
frame: 511 x 638 x 65 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1955
Reference
T00042

Display caption

Wallis launched his career exhibiting a sequence of paintings of interior scenes connected with the life of playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616). This one shows Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon. It is based on a biography by Charles Knight written in 1842. It describes ‘the mean room, with its massive joists and plastered walls, firm with ribs of oak’. Wallis has painted the room in detail, including every nail securing the floorboards. He has also taken note of Knight’s passage describing how ‘hundreds amongst the hundreds of thousands by whom that name is honoured have inscribed their names on the walls of the room.’

Gallery label, June 2019

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

Features

  • MicroTate 14

    Heimo Zobernig , Tim Lee , David Shrigley and Kay Rosen

    Heimo Zobernig, Tim Lee, David Shrigley and Kay Rosen on Tate Collection works Tate Etc. issue 14

You might like