"O Spartan dog": plate 15 from Othello (Act 5, Scene 2)
Suite of fifteen prints: Shakespeare's Othello / Quinze Esquisses à l'eau forte dessinées et gravées par Théodore Chasseriau
Théodore Chassériau (French, Le Limon, Saint-Domingue, West Indies 1819–1856 Paris)
William Shakespeare (British, Stratford-upon-Avon 1564–1616 Stratford-upon-Avon)
Etching, engraving, roulette, drypoint, aquatint or sulphur tint on chine collé
sheet: 25 x 19 1/4 in. (63.5 x 48.9 cm)
plate: 12 5/8 x 15 7/8 in. (32.1 x 40.4 cm)
image: 11 5/16 x 14 5/8 in. (28.7 x 37.2 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1932
Not on view
In 1844 Eugène Piot commissioned the young Chassériau to prepare fifteen illustrations to Shakespeare's Othello. Inspired by a series of ground-breaking Hamlet lithographs that Delacroix had created one year earlier, the younger artist opted for the more linear technique of etching. His expressive conception of form had been learned in Ingres's studio then developed under Delacroix. In the series, key exchanges offer a compressed summary of much of the play, with a final cluster devoted to the tragic conclusion. Here, Lodovico points to the tragic results of Iago's jealous manipulation–the death of the guiltless Desdemona, Emilia slain by Iago for revealing the truth, and Othello dying, after stabbing himself in despair.
Signature: in plate within image: "T.C."; below image at right: "Th. Chasseriau inv. et sc."
Inscription: in plate, below image: Lodovico: "O spartan dog. / More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea! / Look on the tragick loading of this bed: / This is thy work..."/ "Oh! Chien spartiate..." (Othello, Act 5, scene 2)
Vendor: E. Weyhe (New York, NY)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 24, 2005–April 24, 2005.
Jay McKean Fisher Théodore Chassériau Illustrations for Othello. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 1979-80, pp. 136-140, ill.
Maria Grazia Messina "Shakespeare and Romantic Painting in Europe" in Shakespeare in Art, published on the occasion of the exhibition, Dulwich Picture Gallery. Jane Martineau, 2003, pp. 174-179 (opinions of Shakespeare in France, stage productions and paintings made in response by Delacroix and Chasseriau).
Artist: Théodore Chassériau (French, Le Limon, Saint-Domingue, West Indies 1819–1856 Paris)Date: 1838Medium: Graphite and touches of black chalk on beige laid paperAccession: 46.177.1On view in:Not on view
Artist: Théodore Chassériau (French, Le Limon, Saint-Domingue, West Indies 1819–1856 Paris)Date: ca. 1837–38Medium: Brush, ink and gray wash, heightened with white over graphite on beige laid paperAccession: 1975.131.94On view in:Not on view