Tempest, Act V, Scene I: Ferdinand and Miranda Playing at Chess - from the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery folio, as engraved by Caroline Watson, after the painting by F. Wheatley. by J. & J. Boydell Publishers

Tempest, Act V, Scene I: Ferdinand and Miranda Playing at Chess - from the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery folio, as engraved by Caroline Watson, after the painting by F. Wheatley. by J. & J. Boydell Publishers

Tempest, Act V, Scene I: Ferdinand and Miranda Playing at Chess - from the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery folio, as engraved by Caroline Watson, after the painting by F. Wheatley.

J. & J. Boydell Publishers

Title

Tempest, Act V, Scene I: Ferdinand and Miranda Playing at Chess - from the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery folio, as engraved by Caroline Watson, after the painting by F. Wheatley.

 
Artist
Year
1795  
Technique
engraving 
Image Size
22 1/2 x 16 7/8" " platemark 
Signature
engraved, lower right 
Edition Size
not stated; this image most likely from first edition 
Annotations
engraved: title and date of publication, pblshr's name and address, excerpt from play, both painter and etcher's names beneath image. 
Reference
 
Paper
heavy antique-white wove 
State
published 
Publisher
John Boydell: J. & J., Publishers 
Inventory ID
16602 
Price
$400.00 
Description
THE BOYDELL SHAKESPEARE FOLIO included 167 engravings, dating from 1791 to 1803, that were adapted from paintings shown at the Shakespeare Gallery in London in the late eighteenth century. John Boydell (1719 - 1804) was a noted engraver, publisher, print-seller, and even Lord Mayor of London, who established the Shakespeare Gallery and sold to subscribers engravings of the paintings shown there. His nephew, Josiah Boydell, published the collected engravings after John Boydell's death.

Caroline Watson is often considered the first professional female engraver of the United Kingdom. The daughter of printmaker James Watson, her career began under the tutelage of her father. She worked as a portrait artist, particularly for royalty, which lead to a position as engraver to the Queen. In the late 1790s she executed a set of aquatints to accompany two written works by Italian-English artist and educationalist Maria Cosway.

In this scene, which leads up to the epilogue, Prospero has released Alonso and his companions from the spell they've been under, and speaks with them. Antonio is forgiven of his treachery but Propero demands the return of his dukedom. Alonso, wracked with grief, speaks of his missing Ferdinand. Prospero tells Alonso that he also lost a child in the last tempest, his daughter. Prospero then draws a curtain and reveals Miranda and Ferdinand (who are to be married) playing a game of chess together. Alonso can't contain his excitment and embraces his son and future daughter-in-law. Alonso begins to beg for Miranda's forgiveness but Prospero silences him, insisting that everyone is reconciled.