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A Fascination with the Supernatural

Supernatural subjects such as witches claimed Romney's interest repeatedly when he turned to the plays of Shakespeare. Shakespeare's Macbeth encounters the witches twice, the first time on the heath in company with Banquo (Act I, scene 3). Witches issuing from the clouds confront the protagonists in a wash drawing of the heath scene.


Later Romney used the heath scene as a vehicle for painting his friend John Henderson, the noted Shakespearean actor, in the role of Macbeth. Romney also made numerous drawings of the Cavern Scene from Macbeth (Act 4, scene 1) where, during his second encounter with the witches, Macbeth witnesses the procession of the eight kings.



George Romney. Macbeth and Banquo confront the Three Witches. Pen with brown ink and wash over graphiteca, late 1770s

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