"Honest Iago, my Desdemona must I leave to thee": plate 4 from Othello (Act 1, Scene 3)
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)
etched 1844, reprinted 1900
Etching, engraving, roulette, and drypoint on chine collé; second edition (Gazette des Beaux-Arts)
plate: 14 3/8 x 10 1/2 in. (36.5 x 26.6 cm)
image: 11 3/16 x 8 3/8 in. (28.4 x 21.2 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, Othello prepares to depart on a campaign and entrusts Desdemona to the protection of Iago, whom he mistakenly trusts.
Signature: in plate, within image: "T. C. 1844" [in reverse]; below image at right: "Th. Chasseriau inv. et sc."
Inscription: in plate, below image: Othello: "Honest Iago, My Desdemona must I leave to thee; / I pr'ythee, let they wife attend on her" [Othello, Act 1, scene 3]; lower center: "Publié par le Cabinet de l'Amateur, Rue Lafitte 2"
Vendor: E. Weyhe (New York, NY)
Fisher 1979, pp. 52-59; Sandoz 274; Cailac 9; Chevillard 432
Jay McKean Fisher Théodore Chassériau Illustrations for Othello. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 1979-80, pp. 52-59, 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: 1845Medium: Graphite on white wove paper darkened to buff, mounted on stiff paperAccession: 1975.1.581On view in:Not on view