This accomplished pair of Georgian engravings depict two scenes from Shakespeare. The first, engraved by Benjamin Smith (act. 1786-1833) after George Romney (1734-1802), references The Tempest, Act I, Scene I. The second, engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi (1727-1815) after William Hamilton (1751-1801) references Twelfth night, Act V, Scene I. Both were published by John and Josiah Boydell in 1797.
During the early 19th-century, there was a reinvigorated desire for Shakespeare, partly due to the Romantics who held his works in high regard. John Boydell looked to meet this new demand by opening a gallery in London to display a range of commissioned artworks inspired by his plays. Each painting was then engraved and published.
Theatrical scenes such as these bring a quiet sense of drama to an interior and suggest a keen wit.
Framed and glazed.
Medium: Stipple engravings on paper Overall size: 28” x 22½” / 72cm x 57cm Year of creation: 1797 Condition: A few areas of foxing and light staining. Frames with some wear.