Thursday, 23 April 2015

Celebrating Shakespeare's Birthday

Johann Zoffany painted David Garrick and his wife many times.  Garrick built a Palladian-style Temple to his hero Shakespeare on the banks of the Thames at his Hampton villa, where he entertained friends.  The Temple now contains a replica of Roubiliac's full size statue of Shakespeare which Garrick commissioned for his Temple, and may still be visited today.  This painting looks rather like a stage scene than the real life Hampton, and Garrick was a master of illusion himself (the classical columns fronting his Hampton villa are not marble, but painted wood like the Drury Lane stage scenery). 

David Garrick (1717-1779) by Johann Zoffany 
© Richmond upon Thames Borough Art Collection

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