Back to exhibition

Shakespeare Week Portraits

Shakespeare in his Study

Who painted it?

Thomas Newland (from the original painting by John Boaden)


How big is it?

Width 1070 mm (framed)

Height 1330 mm (framed)


What is it made of?

Oil paint on canvas


Artist Biography

This portrait was painted by Thomas Newland in the mid-nineteenth century. Thomas Newland was inspired by a more well-known artist called John Boaden and copied his portrait of Shakespeare.


About the Picture

This portrait of Shakespeare shows him mid-way through writing a play in his study in Stratford-upon-Avon. We know he is in Stratford-upon-Avon because, if you look carefully, you can see Holy Trinity Church through the window behind Shakespeare.

What other things can you spot in the picture? Who is in the portrait behind Shakespeare? Could it be Elizabeth I? She was the Queen of England when Shakespeare was a young man. Can you see what Shakespeare is using to write his plays with? It’s a quill, made from a goose feather, dipped in ink.


Try this…

Would you like to have a go at writing like Shakespeare? Ask an adult to help you make a quill from a feather (there’s a resource to help you here). Dip it into some ink and try writing your name. Not all the letters that we use today looked the same in Shakespeare’s times, perhaps you can find out what they looked like.