Painting Shakespeare explores the tradition of critical and interpretive painting and engraving that developed when eighteenth-century artists rejected the depiction of Shakespeare's plays in performance to produce images based on the new scholarly editions. The opening chapter locates Shakespeare painting alongside contemporary performance, editing and criticism, and discusses its relation to art history and practice. The book proceeds to examine Hogarth's use of ironic allusion, and the development of this and other techniques of critical visualisation by artists of the succeeding decades. Later chapters discuss the arcane allusions and supernatural visions of Fuseli, the gestural immediacy of Romney, the fluid, critical mythologising of Blake, and the compound subtleties of Reynolds. The book concludes with a study of the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery and the radically new reading practices it constituted.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press