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

Théodore Chassériau French
Subject William Shakespeare British

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.

"Oh! Oh! Oh!": plate 14 from Othello (Act 5, Scene 2), Théodore Chassériau (French, Le Limon, Saint-Domingue, West Indies 1819–1856 Paris), Etching, engraving, and roulette on chine collé; second edition (Gazette des Beaux-Arts)

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