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Boydell's London

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John Boydell's London

Shakespeare’s popularity rose across the eighteenth century, but particularly after the Shakespeare Jubilee held in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1769. Masterminded by David Garrick, a popular actor and manager of London’s Drury Lane theatre, the Shakespeare Jubilee prompted the manufacture of many Shakespearean products, from vases and snuff boxes to figurines and ceramic tiles, all honoring Shakespeare and the actors who brought his works to life.

H. Meyer after G. Stuart. John Boydell, Esq., Alderman of London. Engraving, 1814

The late eighteenth century also saw England becoming the economic powerhouse of Europe. But in the arts, many felt that England lagged behind the continent, both in terms of the quality of production and of the national taste.   One such person was John Boydell, a prominent print seller, publisher, and politician who was elected Alderman for Cheapside in 1782, Sheriff of London in 1785, and Lord Mayor of London in 1790.


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  Exhibition Highlights

John Boydell. Pictures painted for the purpose of illustrating the dramatic works of Shakspeare. London, 1803

Thomas Ryder Jr. and Sr. after Sir William Beechey. Her Most Gracious Majesty, Queen Charlotte. Color engraving, 1804

The Mad King's Wife

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