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Shakespeare Week Portraits

Portrait of Shakespeare

Who painted it?

Liu Bingliang


How big is it?

Life-size portrait


What is it made of?

Ink on scroll rolls


Artist Biography

Liu Bingliang was born in 1934 in the Liaoning Province, China. He created this huge portrait of Shakespeare in 2004 to celebrate the 440th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.  Bingliang is known for using traditional Chinese styles of painting in his art and cartoons.


About the Picture

Bingliang’s portrait of Shakespeare is one of the biggest pictures in this exhibition. When the scroll is fully unrolled, this Shakespeare is life-size. Why do you think that Bingliang wanted it to be this big?

Bingliang is a Chinese artist. Is there anything in this picture that gives us a clue to Bingliang’s Chinese heritage? (Maybe the type of writing used in the inscription.) Why do you think a Chinese artist would be interested in painting a portrait of Shakespeare?


Try this…

Have a go at creating a life-size portrait. Ask a friend to lay down on a large roll of paper, and carefully draw around them. Use paint, colouring pencils or scraps of fabric to fill in the outline. Just make sure you have somewhere big enough to display it when you are finished!