Art/ Collection/ Art Object

"Oh! Oh! Oh!": plate 14 from Othello (Act 5, Scene 2)

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:
etched 1844, reprinted 1900
Medium:
Etching, engraving, and roulette on chine collé; second edition (Gazette des Beaux-Arts)
Dimensions:
Image: 12 3/8 x 9 3/4 in. (31.4 x 24.8 cm) Plate: 14 7/16 x 10 7/16 in. (36.7 x 26.5 cm) Sheet: 21 3/4 × 15 3/16 in. (55.3 × 38.5 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1932
Accession Number:
32.7.14
Not on view
After Delacroix’s successful Hamlet lithographs appeared in 1843, Chassériau responded with a series of etchings devoted to Shakespeare’s Othello. This example encapsulates the play’s climax in act 5, in which the title character is undone by his tragic error concerning his wife, Desdemona. Having smothered her, he now kneels despairingly by the bed as her attendant Emilia reveals that "honest Iago," who told Othello she had been unfaithful, is a jealous manipulator:
"Now lay thee down and roar. / For thou has killed the sweetest innocent, / That did ever lift up eye."
By choosing etching, Chassériau was able to both include fine detail and convey his expressive conception of form.
Signature: in plate, below image at right: "Th. Chasseriau inv. et sc."

Inscription: in plate, below image: Othello: "O! O! O!" / Emila: "Nay, lay thee down, and roar; / For thou hast kill'd the sweetest innocent / That e'er did lift up eye." [Othello, Act 5, scene 2]; repeated in French; verso: in graphite, lower right: "H E Field"
Hamilton Easter Field(?); Vendor: E. Weyhe (New York, NY)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 12–July 18, 2016.

Fisher 1979, pp. 130-135; Sandoz 284; Chevillard 442
Jay McKean Fisher Théodore Chassériau Illustrations for Othello. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 1979-80, pp. 130-135, ill.

Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel Die Shakespeare-Illustration (1594–2000). 3 vols., Wiesbaden and Mainz, 2003, vol. III, pp. 1040, 1241, no. 2828, 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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