Imogen (Shakespeare, Cymbeline, Act 3, Scene 6)

Various artists/makers

Not on view

In a subject from one of Shakespeare's late plays the British princess Imogen has disguished herself as a boy, fled difficulties at court, and become lost in Wales. Here she warily seeks shelter in a cave. Westall's composition was made for John Boydell, who launched the Shakespeare Gallery in 1786 as a publishing-cum-exhibition scheme that included a new illustrated edition of the plays, sets of large and small engravings, and a gallery on London's Pall Mall where the related paintings were displayed. The latter opened in 1789 with thirty-four works, then grew to contain about one hundred and seventy before financial difficulties, caused by the extended Napoleonic blocade of European ports, forced Boydell to declare bankruptcy, and sell his collection by lottery in 1805.

Imogen (Shakespeare, Cymbeline, Act 3, Scene 6), Thomas Gaugain (British, London 1756–ca. 1810 London), Stipple engraving; proof

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