Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Frontispiece, from Othello

Series/Portfolio:
Suite of fifteen prints: Shakespeare's Othello / Quinze Esquisses à l'eau forte dessinées et gravées par Théodore Chasseriau
Artist:
Théodore Chassériau (French, Le Limon, Saint-Domingue, West Indies 1819–1856 Paris)
Subject:
William Shakespeare (British, Stratford-upon-Avon 1564–1616 Stratford-upon-Avon)
Date:
1900
Medium:
Etching, engraving, roulette, drypoint on chine collé
Dimensions:
plate: 15 13/16 x 10 9/16 in. (40.1 x 26.8 cm) image: 15 9/16 x 10 3/8 in. (39.5 x 26.3 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1932
Accession Number:
32.7.3
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. This frontispiece, centered on a figure resembling the tragic muse Melpomene, was added when the series was reissued in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts in 1900.
Vendor: E. Weyhe (New York, NY)
Fisher 1979, pp. 32-35; Sandoz 270; Cailac 5; Chevillard 444
Jay McKean Fisher Théodore Chassériau Illustrations for Othello. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 1979-80, pp. 32-35, 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).



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