"King Lear," Act I, Scene I, Edwin Austin Abbey (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1852–1911 London), Oil on canvas, American

"King Lear," Act I, Scene I

Artist:
Edwin Austin Abbey (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1852–1911 London)
Date:
1898
Culture:
American
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
54 1/4 x 127 1/4 in. (137.8 x 323.2 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of George A. Hearn, 1913
Accession Number:
13.140
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 766
Multitalented Edwin Austin Abbey, a Philadelphia-born illustrator, painter, and muralist, is best known for his historical imagery, especially Arthurian and Shakespearean subjects. A popular member of expatriate artistic circles, Abbey first visited England in 1878, and settled there permanently in 1882.
In this dramatic scene from King Lear, Cordelia—Shakespeare’s heroine in the tragedy—stands at the center of the composition, having just been renounced by her father in the play’s opening scene.
Signature: [at lower left]: E.A. Abbey 1898
George McCulloch, London, 1898–died 1907; Estate of George McCulloch, London, 1907–1913; sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, 29 May 1913, no. 108; with M. Knoedler and Company, New York, as agent, 1913; George A. Hearn, New York, 1913