William  Shakespeare Pictures features the famous Droeshout portrait of the Bard and the renowned Alto-Rilievo sculpture
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William Shakespeare Pictures

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William Shakespeare Pictures are surprisingly scarce. Remarkably for a man whose work has enlightened millions, there are very few Shakespeare pictures and depictions of the Great Bard with us today.

THE DROESHOUT PORTRAIT IN THE FIRST FOLIO.

This Figure, that thou here feeft put,
It was for gentle Shakefpeare cut;
Wherein the Grauer had a ftrife
with Nature, to out-doo the life:
O, could he but haue drawne his wit
As well in braffe, as he hath hit
His face; the Print would then furpaffe
All, that vvas vvrit in braffe.
But, fince he cannot, Reader, looke
Not on his Picture, but his Booke.


THE ALTO-RILIEVO

IN FRONT OF THE GALLERY, PALL MALL.

IN this specimen of the sculptor's art Shakespeare is seen sitting upon a rock, with "Painting and her sister Poesy" standing one on each side of him. The latter, on his right, is in the act of presenting him with a laurel wreath, that signal token of poetic eminence, while she is at the same time ready with her lyre to call forth the aid of Music to increase the harmony of their ovations. Her head is adorned with a double mask, emblematic of Tragedy and Comedy, in order to show that she had inspired that unequalled dramatic poet and inimitable delineator of human nature with mental powers, both tragic and comic, in such exact proportion as to render it hard to say in which of them he was most pre-eminent. On his left, Painting, with palette in hand, is pointing him out as a genius who deserved to be glorified, also, by the inherent qualities with which she herself was specially gifted. (And nobly has this suggestion of hers been carried out by the generous enterprise of his enthusiastic admirers—the original publishers of the Shakespeare Gallery!) The head of the poet himself is turned towards Poetry with a look of pleasurable satisfaction, while his hand is placed approvingly on the shoulder of the Genius of Painting.

Sculptured by Thomas Banks, R.A. Engraved by Benjamin Smith.


THE INFANT SHAKESPEARE ATTENDED BY NATURE AND THE PASSIONS.

Painted by George Romney. Engraved by Benjamin Smith.


SHAKESPEARE NURSED BY TRAGEDY AND COMEDY.

"Soule of the Age! The applause! delight! the wonder of our Stage!"

Painted by George Romney. Engraved, by Benjamin Smith.

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