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


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Recent Posts

Call for Contributions: “Printing Things: Blocks, Plates and Stones 1400-1900”

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
Title: Printing Things: Blocks, Plates, and Stones 1400-1900


Editors: Giles Bergel (Oxford), Elizabeth Savage (Institute of English Studies)
Advisory board: Sven Dupré (Utrecht), Caroline Duroselle-Melish (Folger), Maria Goldoni (‘Xilografie modenesi’), Paul Nash (Printing Historical Society), Marco Mozzo (Polo museale della Toscana) 

Deadline: 15 October 2018 via https://goo.gl/forms/eHAzaQUFklyMOmYv2
Queries: Gemma Cornetti at printingcolourproject@gmail.com

In all fields based on historical printed material, research conventionally focuses on the text, images, and other information that was printed. The objects used to produce that information (including cut woodblocks, engraved metal plates, and cast metal sorts) have been neglected. Many hundreds of thousands of these historical printing surfaces survive today. The vast majority are inaccessible to researchers because they are uncatalogued and often considered ‘uncatalogue-able’. However, as individual objects and as an untapped category of cultural heritage, these artefacts of printing offer a great deal of information that the finished prints, books, fabrics, and other printed materials do not.

As relics of historical crafts and industry, these objects fall outside the modern disciplines. This edited volume will respond to the need for a multidisciplinary introduction to what image-based fields calls ‘print matrices’ and text-based fields call ‘printing surfaces’. Following from the conference Blocks Plates Stones (London, 2017), the first facilitated discussion of the use of such objects in research, Printing Things will represent the state of research in this new and developing field. It will bring together object-based research, collection-level surveys, historical printing practices, ethical considerations of their storage and use (or non-use) today, methods for multiplying the originals (eg dabs, stereos, electros), and methodological studies. By doing so, it will offer frameworks for describing, conserving, curating, presenting and understanding these objects using new and existing paradigms. It aims to facilitate their introduction into historical research across the disciplines.

Contributions are sought from art historians, book historians, cultural historians, musicologists, science and medicine historians, typographers, and researchers in other fields based on historical printed material; material scientists and conservators; historically informed printers and printmakers; curators, cataloguers, librarians, and printing museum managers who care for these objects; and digital humanities specialists who are creating a new generation of tools for culling information from these objects. The book will focus on handpress work.


In addition to object- and collection-based case studies, theoretical perspectives might include: 

– What can print matrices/printing surfaces teach us that printed materials cannot, and vice versa?
– How should they be regarded: as artists’ tools; intermediary states of works of art; or works of art in themselves?
– Is there a value in considering woodblocks, metal plates, and litho stones together as a single category?
– What lies behind the sudden and recent increase in interest in these objects, and how can these objects inform those emerging research trends?
– How are they to be conserved, curated, presented and understood?
– Does the recent turn to object-centered cultural criticism (‘thing theory’) provide useful paradigms for their study?
– What are the ethical and critical issues around bringing them back into use as printing surfaces?
– What is their place within the systems of digital remediation and knowledge within which art and book history is increasingly practiced?

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