William Shakespeare between Tragedy and Comedy


An oil painting on panel by Richard Westall R.A. (1766-1836) depicting Shakespeare with the Muses Thalia (Comedy) and Melpomene (Tragedy), who are without their usual attributes of a scroll or viol and a sword or dagger. The figure of Tragedy is neo-Classical in its linearity, and its strict profile and confined gesture are similar to John Flaxman's illustrations to Homer. Comedy is of a type comparable with the slightly risque figures painted by the Rev. Matthew William Peters (1741/42-1814).

Acquisition generously supported by Arts Council England/Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund.

  • Measurements

  • Width

    1095 mm (unframed)
    1070 mm (unframed)
    1355 mm (frame)

  • Height

    1395 mm (frame)

  • Marks & inscriptions

    R. Westall R A 1825 :,

  • Location

    Shakespeare Centre - Wolfson Hall - Landing

  • Credit line

    CC-BY-NC-ND Image Courtesy of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust