Shakespeare Gallery folio, "Othello, Act V, Scene II"; as engraved by W. Leney, after painting by J. Graham. by J. & J. Boydell Publishers

Shakespeare Gallery folio, Othello, Act V, Scene II; as engraved by W. Leney, after painting by J. Graham. by J. & J. Boydell Publishers

Shakespeare Gallery folio, "Othello, Act V, Scene II"; as engraved by W. Leney, after painting by J. Graham.

J. & J. Boydell Publishers

Title

Shakespeare Gallery folio, "Othello, Act V, Scene II"; as engraved by W. Leney, after painting by J. Graham.

 
Artist
Year
1803  
Technique
engraving 
Image Size
19 3/4 x 24 5/8" " 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
16604 
Price
$400.00 
Description

Holding a candle, Othello stands over the sleeping Desdemona and prepares to kill her. He bends down to kiss her once before he does the deed, she wakes, and he tells her to prepare to die. Growing frightened, Desdemona asks her husband why he means to kill her, and Othello responds that she has been unfaithful to him with Cassio—he has seen the proof in the handkerchief. Othello refuses to believe Desdemona’s denial of the charge, saying that Cassio has confessed but will speak no more, since he has been killed by Iago. Desdemona begins to weep for Cassio, which only drives Othello into a greater rage. Wrestling with her as she begs to be allowed to live just a little longer, Othello finally succeeds in smothering his wife. Emilia calls from outside the door, and Othello, apparently delirious, confuses her cries with his wife’s and concludes that Desdemona is not yet dead. Thinking himself to be merciful, and not wanting to have his wife linger in pain, he smothers her again.

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.