Shakespeare Gallery

The Romantic Illustration Network Shakespeare Gallery

The Romantic Illustration Network would like to express its gratitude to Professor Fred Burwick, who provided us with the negatives for the high-resolution digital images of the engravings displayed below.

The Boydell Shakespeare Gallery, 1789-1805

An exhibition of paintings devoted exclusively to scenes from the dramatic works of Shakespeare was opened to the London populace in June, 1789. The Shakespeare Gallery was situated in a huge building at 52 Pall Mall. Formerly occupied by Dodsley’s bookshop, the building had been rebuilt under the supervision of George Dance the younger. The exterior was sheathed in copper; the entrance featured a relief of Shakespeare reclining against a rock, with the Dramatic Muse to his right and the Genius of Painting to his left. The exhibition suite on the ground floor was 130 feet long; the three rooms upstairs provided a wall area of over 4,000 square feet for exhibiting the paintings. Obviously there was room for many more than the thirty-four paintings which were displayed for the first visitors. The number of paintings doubled the ensuing year, and each spring an exhibition of newly completed paintings was announced, so that the Shakespeare Gallery, before it finally closed in 1805, eventually housed 167 canvases by thirty-three artists.

[Excerpt from the Introduction to The Boydell Shakespeare Gallery, by Frederick Burwick]

Click on the thumbnails below to access larger versions of the images, and to view the full-sized image. Images are arranged alphabetically by play, and new plays will be added over the coming months, so do keep checking back here.

Mary L. Shannon

Dustin Frazier Wood

Creative Commons Licence
The Romantic Illustration Network Shakespeare Gallery by Frederick Burwick and the Romantic Illustration Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Digitised by the University of Roehampton.

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Front Matter to the Boydells’ two-volume Collection of Prints


Antony and Cleopatra


 

 As You Like It


Comedy of Errors


Coriolanus


Cymbeline


Hamlet


Julius Caesar


 

King Henry the Fourth, Part I


King Henry the Fourth, Part II


King Henry the Fifth


King Henry the Sixth, Part I


 

King Henry the Sixth, Part II


 

King Henry the Sixth, Part III


 

King Henry the Eighth


 

King Lear


 

King Richard the Third


 

Measure for Measure


Merchant of Venice


Merry Wives of Windsor


Much Ado About Nothing


Othello


 

Romeo and Juliet


 

 

Taming of the Shrew


The Tempest


Timon of Athens


 

 

Titus Andronicus


 

 

Troilus & Cressida


 

Two Gentlemen of Verona


Recent Posts

ECR Training Day: Matrices/Printing Surfaces

engraver (1805)

Early career researchers are invited to apply for the British Academy funded training day focusing on the use of matrices and printing surfaces in research on illustrated books. The workshop, facilitated by Dr Elizabeth Savage (Institute of English Studies) and Dr Giles Bergel (Oxford), will allow participates to consider both printing surfaces such as woodblocks and engraved plates, and the resulting impressions, and to relate them to the content of printed books.

No previous experience is necessary. Applications are open to scholars from all disciplines and related professions, including current PhD students or those who received a PhD in or after 2007.

Click here to learn more and apply.

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