George Francis: Mr. Garrick in the Character of King Lear

See more paintings in Painting Shakespeare.

On view in the Painting Shakespeare exhibition
May 13, 2017 – Feb 11, 2018 

Curated by Erin Blake

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Item Title: 
Mr. Garrick in the character of King Lear [graphic] / G. Francis
Item Call Number: 
ART 267631
Item Creator: 
Francis, George, 1790-1893, artist.
Item Date: 
1810

Using the flat, simplified shapes typical of American folk art, George Francis based his painting of King Lear in the storm on an engraving published in London in 1761, as the video above explains. He even imitated the engraved caption in the bottom margin, and followed the convention of placing the copyist's name in the lower right.

The painting shows the actor David Garrick in the character of King Lear in Act 3, Scene 2.

The painting was purchased by the Folger Shakespeare Library in 1945, deaccessioned in 1962, and repurchased in 2012.

See more paintings in Painting Shakespeare.