Thursday, August 2, 2007


Artists have the benefit of telling a tale without the physical limitations of the stage. Storms and lighting are under their control, and facial and bodily expression have boundaries only in the artists' talent. Here are some of the works showing the history of King Lear.

1) "Cordelia's Portion" Ford Madox Brown. This Pre-Raphaelite painting is typical of the movement with its detail in costume and large depiction of emotion.

2) Photograph of "Lear and His Daughters" by Julia Margaret Cameron. Cameron's father posed as Lear.

3)"King Lear" by John Rogers Herbert.

4)Lear frieze at Folger Shakespeare Library. This isn't Victorian but draws on tradition and I'm a Washington native, so wanted to include it.

5) "Lear and The Fool in the Storm" by William Dyce.

6) "King Lear" by George Romney. Romney's work shows his absorption with Shakespeare, most famously in the painting "King Lear In the Tempest Tearing Off His Robes".

7) "King Lear" by Benjamin West.

8) Lear and Cordelia, unknown artist.

9) Cordelia with Lear and physician, Marcus Stone.

10) Cordelia and Lear in prison, William Blake. This scene is not in Shakespeare, so it may have been inspired by Tate's version, which does have a prison scene with Cordelia and Lear, the king asleep with his head in Cordelia's lap.

11)"Lear Mourning Over Body of Cordelia", James Barry.

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