Friday, 22 January 2016

A Wedgwood bust of Shakespeare

A Wedgwood Basalt Bust of William Shakespeare.
 
Sold Aspire Auctions.
Spring Summer 2009.
12.75 inches Tall.
no date letter

Another version of the Scheemakers Trinity Library Dublin Bust.

Perhaps adapted from a plaster by John Cheere.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 I suspect that the impressed date letter has been erased - the abraded area to the left of the impressed Wedgwood Mark is suspicious - the bust perhaps late 19th Century. 
 

The Alscot Park Marble and Plaster busts of Shakespeare by Rysbrack.

The Alscot Park Busts of William Shakespeare.
by Michael Rysbrack.
 
 
The Marble bust of William Shakespeare
Signed by Michael Rysbrack
dated 1760.
Made for James West. P.R.S., F.S.A., (1703 - 72),
Secretary to the Treasury and recorder successively for Poole and St Albans.
Formerly at Alscot Park.
585mm tall. socle 215 mm tall.
Now at Birmingham Museum.
A Letter dated 16 January 1758 from Joseph Greene schoolmaster of Stratford on Avon to James West of Alscot Park:-
The first two paragraphs relate to his work on West's collection of books but the third and fourth relate to the making of Rysbrack's bust of Shakespeare.
 
If Mr Rysbrack carves your Shakespeare from ye mask you had of me, I am very sure it answers exactly to our Original bust; for Heath ye carver and I took it down from ye chancel wall and laid it exactly in a horizontal posture before we made ye cast, which we executed with much Care, So that no Slipping of the Materials could occasion ye unnatural distance in the face that he mentions.
If ye have ye Folio Edition of Shakespeare plays printed in 1632, there is facig ye Title-page a picture of ye Poet engraved by Martin Droeshout, and declared by Ben Johnson in a few verses affix'd to be a thorough resemblance of him. Mr Kendal our late recorder and I agreed in our sentiments that there was a Considerable lightness of that picture to ye bust in our church. I have not ye Cut but perhaps ye irregularity of features may be observed in that also.
If it could be done for an inconsiderable expense, before ye Mould is destroy'd I wish your Honour would Secure for me a plaister face from it.
I am with great thankfulness
                                 Your Most oblig'd humble Servant
                                               Joseph Green.'
 
The next we hear is Rysbrack writing to Sir Edward Littleton in November 1759, by which time he had modelled the bust saying it was 'to the liking of every person who have seen it' and continues 'Mr West belonging to the Treasury who lives in Stratford upon Avon likes it so well that I am going to do it for him in Marble'
 In his letters to Littleton he talks about receiving Lord Rockingham's portrait of Shakespeare (Knellers copy of the Chandos Portrait and says that he will make a drawing from it, though 'I don't think it is so good a Picture as they Brag of neither is there Spirit in it'
 Although dated 1760 it must have remained in Rysbracks London workshop until 1763 when Rysbrack wrote to West on 11th July
' The last time You did me the Pleasure to call at my House, you said there Must be some letters put on the Pedestal of the Bust for Shakespeare which have been finishes a long while since. I desire You will please to let me have them and they shall be put on the pedestal directly, as I have nothing to live on but my Business I want money and am to Great Expenses to Continue where I am without business, I must therefore retire for my Own best advantage.
Your Most Obedient and humble Servant
                                                                    Mich: Rysbrack
P.S. Sir  If you do not want any letters put on the Pedestal, I will send it home as it is'
 Tardiness with payment was a common occurrence and must have made very difficult for many artists and craftsmen of this period as this letter shows.
 
These letters are quoted from Michael Rysbrack, Sculptor, by MI Webb, pub. Country Life, 1954.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
___________________
 
 
 
 
 
The Plaster bust of Shakespeare in the hall is a version of the Rysbrack Shakespeare supplied by John Cheere (check source!) to James West at Alscot Park, Warwickshire. This is a plaster version of Rysbrack's Shakespeare.

There were also plaster busts of Newton and Prior in the Hall.
 

The Engraved Portraits of William Shakespeare

 

Portrait of William Shakespeare
Martin Droeshout
Engraving from the First Folio, 1623.



Title page of the First Folio, by William Shakespeare, 1623.
with copper engraving of the author by Martin Droeshout.
Second State.
34 cm × 22.5 cm (13 in × 8.9 in).

Image courtesy of the Elizabethan Club and the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University.

For more on the four states of this engraving see -
http://collation.folger.edu/2014/06/four-states-of-shakespeare-the-droeshout-portrait/
______________________________


William Shakespeare
by William Marshall
Engraving - 1640.



Engraved for John Bensons collection of Shakespeare's Sonnets

__________________________________

The Eighteenth Century Engraved Portraits
of William Shakespeare.
 
Rysbrack as an avid collector of engravings would certainly have been aware of the following engravings and as in his other historicising portrait busts it is not difficult to see how these engravings were used as sources for his busts
 
 
 
William Shakespeare
Engraving by Gaspard Duchange (1662 - 1757)
After a miniature by Benjamin Arlaud (1670 - 1721).
180 x 115 mm.
The BM says after Arnaud's version of the Chandos portrait;

This Illustration to Theobald's edition of the 'Works of Shakespeare'. 1733.

British Museum.
 
It appears that this engraving came from a retouched plate of 1709 used in the Nicholas Rowe (1674 - 1718) 6 volume edition of the works of Shakespeare published by Jacob Tonson. Rowe became Poet Laureate. 
 
For a downloadable article written on the Arnaud/ Duchange engraved portrait see
_________________________

 
 
 
 
William Shakespeare
Engraving by George Vertue.
1715.
Inscribed - Done from the original in the possession of Robert Keck of the Inner Temple Esq.
The 'Chandos portrait', now in the NPG, which was first recorded when it passed from the collection of Robert Keck to his cousin, Francis, on the former's death in 1719.
 

George Vertue, writing on the Chandos Portrait in 1719 records -

'The picture of Shakespeare ('the only' crossed out) one original in Posesion/ of Mr Keyck of the Temple. he bought for forty guinnea/of Mr Baterton who bought it off Sr W. Davenant. to whom it was left by will of John Taylor. who had/it of Shakespear.it was painted by one Taylor a player and painter contemp: with Shakes and his intimate friend. The name 'Richard Burbage' is crossed out in the margin. (later insertions in bold.
 Mr Betterton told Mr Keck several times that the / Picture of Shakespeare he had, was painted by one John Taylor / in his will he left it to Sir William Davenant.& at / the death of Sir Will Davenant - Mr Betterton bought / it & at his death Mr Keck bought it in whose / poss.it now is (1719 in the margin)'.
Despite this there is still some doubt - Davenant is known to have embroidered his relationship with Shakespeare for his own ends
For a fuller discussion on the subject of this portrait see -
Searching for Shakespeare, Tarnya Cooper, Yale University Press. 2006

 
 
 
 
 
William Shakespeare
Engraving by George Vertue
After a miniature in the possession of Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford.
Engraving, 1721.
228 x 163 mm.
 Inscribed 'Ad Originalem Tabulam penes Edwardum Dominum Harley. / G. Vertue, Sculp. 1721.'.
Annotated in pencil on the verso 'front. to Pope's ed. of Shakspeare, 1725 / Qy a proof'.
British Museum.
 
The Ruff is perhaps an invention of Vertue.
 
 
 
 
 
William Shakespeare.
Gerard van der Gucht (1696 - 1776)
Undated Engraving
believed circa 1730.
130 mm x 78 mm
© National Portrait Gallery, London
 
__________________
 
I include this mezzotint illustrated below as Michael Rysbrack would certainly have owned or seen a copy of it.
 
 
William Shakespeare
after Zoust (Gerard Soest) c 1600 - 1681.
Worked in England in the late 17th century.
Mezzotint by John Simon mid 18th century.
 "Zoust pinx."; "Shakespeare Ob: A.D. 1616. AEtat: 53."; "Done from a Capital Picture in the Collection of T. Wright Painter in Coven Garden." and "I. Simon fe et ex."
Based on the portrait illustrated below.
345 x 250 mm.
 
John Simon: Mezzotinter. b. Normandy, trained Paris as a line engraver, fled to England as a Huguenot c.1700 where became a mezzotinter. Early work for Edward Cooper; by c.1720 published most plates himself. Ceased work after 1742. Plates sold in November 1761. Address (until late 1710s) Cross-Lane Long Acre (after 1720), Seven Stars in King Street, Covent Garden Golden Eagle in Villiers Street New Street, Covent Garden.
 
______________________
 
 
 
 
William Shakespeare
Gerard Soest (Zoust) (c.1600 - 1681).
Dated 1667.
Oil on canvas
765 x 645 mm.
It has been suggested that this portrait is based on the Chandos Portrait possibly painted by John Taylor in about 1610.
George Vertue suggested that it is a painting of a man who resembled Shakespeare.
BBC your paintings records 50 paintings by Soest (Zoust). 
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
 
Provenance:
 
Sir Thomas Clarges, c. 1667;
 
Thomas Wright, c. 1685 - c. 1725;
William Douglas, Esq., c. 1790;
Captain Drake sale, Tregoning, Penryn, Cornwall, 30 March 1807, lot 19, as Portrait of Shakespeare, supposed by Zoust, 2' 9§ x 2' 1§ in a black and gilt frame;
  John Lister Kaye (Sir), c.1827; Stamford (Earl of); J. F. Grey, (Sir); Christie's sale, 9 April 1954, lot 92.
  Bought from Antiqualia Lda., Lisbon Portugal in 1959
 
_________________________________________________
 
 
 

Monument of William Shakespeare

George Vertue.
Etching and Engraving
1721
225 x 156 mm. (image Size).
Lettered:
'Ingenio Pylium, Genio Socrates, arte Maronem, Terra Tegit, Populus Maeret, Olympus Habet. / Stay, passenger, why dost thou go so fast? Read if thou canst, whom envious Death has plac'd Within this Monument; Shakespear, with whom Quick Nature dy'd, whose Names doth deck the Tomb Far more than Cost, since all that he has Writ Leaves living Art, but Page to serve his Wit. / Obt. Ano. Dni. Aetat. 53.Die 23 Apr.
Illustration for Alexander Pope's 1723 edition of Shakespeare's works.
 

 
 
 
 
Sketch of the Shakespeare Monument drawn by George Vertue when visiting with Edward Harley the Earl of Oxford 1st January 1737 from his notebooks.
 
_____________________________________
 
 
Self portrait of George Vertue
It appears to be showing Vertue holding a miniature of Lord Oxford in his left hand and the drawing or engraving of the portrait being pointed to with his right hand.
 
Pencil and red chalk, 1741
9 1/4 in. x 5 1/2 in. (235 mm x 140 mm)
Purchased, 1972
NPG 4876
National Portrait Gallery.

Collections: bought 1972 through Colnaghis at Sotheby's, 23 March, lot 78; previous history unknown.

 
Literature: (Sir) George Scharf, Catalogue of the Pictures Belonging to the Society of Antiquaries, 1865; R.W. Goulding, The Welbeck Abbey Miniatures, 1916; H.W. Foote, John Smibert Painter, 1950.

 
 
 

Signed or inscribed on papers at table edge: inv & del / G. Vertue / 1741 and inscribed below: G. Vertue / London; within a cartouche to the right, below the Prince of Wales crest: HONOR / ALIT ARTES.

This drawing is almost identical in technique and size with the self-portrait tipped into Vertue's notebook Aj in the British Museum, Add. MS 21111. Both are drawn in black pencil heightened with red on handmade eighteenth-century paper and show Vertue holding a miniature, apparently of his patron, the Earl of Oxford. The setting and the inscriptions are the same. The BM drawing, whose history is unknown before the nineteenth century, is more crisp and detailed. Close comparison reveals a. number of small differences, e.g. in the drapery top left, in the area where the sitter's right sleeve touches the arm of the chair; in the drawing of the face and below the rule in the lettering and the crest. There are also two strokes of red, bottom right, in the BM drawing. Some of these differences may be held to point to another hand, and the question of authorship of NPG 4876 remains, to some extent, open. There is, nonetheless, sufficient resemblance of style not to exclude Vertue. It is worth bearing in mind that some eighteenth-century draughtsmen such as Richardson and Carmontelle sometimes made several drawings of the same subject.
Notes lifted verbatim from National Portrait Gallery website -
 

 

The Victoria and Albert Museum Terracotta Bust of Shakespeare by Michael Rysbrack and the Engravings of Shakespeare.

 
 
A Terracotta Bust of William Shakespeare.
By Michael Rysbrack.
Victoria and Albert Museum.
c.1742/3.
Height: 57 cm, Width: 50 cm, Depth: 26 cm
Victoria and Albert Museum.
This bust is assumed to be the model for the stone bust of c.1743 in the Temple of British Worthies at Stowe, Buckinghamshire.
Given by Mrs M.A. Miller, Anglesey House, Isle of Wight in 1924 in memory of her father Augustus William Rixon, to whom the bust had previously belonged.
 
A business card for E.W. Field, Dealer in Antiques and Works of Art, 28 Union Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight, was found amongst the papers relating to the objects offered as gifts to the Museum by Mrs Miller, and may indicate he acted as an agent for the donor.
 
This bust is directly derived from either the engraving by George Vertue or Gaspar Duchange of the original by Benjamin Arlaud (see below).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
__________________________
 
The Teddesley Hall Terracotta bust of William Shakespeare by Michael Rysbrack.
For Sir Edward Littleton (disappeared).
One of eight busts of British worthies - three now being in the National Maritime Museum - made by Michael Rysbrack for Sir Edward Littleton, for Teddesley Hall, his new house near Stafford (now demolished), which he was furnishing in the neo-classical style.
 They comprised four pairs: Raleigh and Bacon (SCU0005), Shakespeare (disappeared) and Pope (now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge), Cromwell (SCU0014) and Milton (Fitzwilliam), and Newton and Locke. Lord Hatherton (the Littleton barony dating from 1835) consigned these - excluding Shakespeare - and other Rysbracks that his ancestor had purchased, with the related Rysbrack letters about them, to Spink's for exhibition and sale in July 1932.
 Spink's related illustrated catalogue by Mrs Arundell Esdaile ('The Art of John Michael Rysbrack in Terracotta') fully transcribes the letters and is otherwise comprehensive. She proposed that the undated one of Cromwell may have been the bust that Vertue saw in Rysbrack's workshop in 1732, which would make it the earliest. Old NMM record cards identify that of Pope as possbly 1735 and in the NPG ( wrong - in the Ashmolean with Milton); Milton as 1738, now at Stourhead (based on Rysbrack's Westminster Abbey monument and another bust done for William Benson) (wrong it is in the  Ashmolean as is the bust Alexander Pope); Newton (1739), now at Trinity College, Cambridge; Locke (1755?) in the Royal Collection.
That of Shakespeare is unlocated but the V&A has one that may at least be a version.
 Raleigh and Bacon were conceived as a pair and the most expensive at 25 guineas each, though the sources for the Raleigh are not certain and it was not started until the Bacon had been sent off in June 1757: the others were all 16 guineas. These two, with the bust of Cromwell, were purchased for the Museum at Spink's by Sir James Caird. In 1930 he had already bought from Hatherton, and also through Spink, Hogarth's portrait of Inigo Jones (BHC2810), which Sir Edward Littleton had commissioned as another British notable.
Info from National Maritime Museum -
 

see -




 
 
_________________________
 
 
 
 
William Shakespeare
Life Size Stone Bust 1743.
Michael Rysbrack
Temple of British Worthies
Stowe, Buckinghamshire.
_______________________________________
 
 
 

Engraving by George Vertue.
1715.
 Despite the inscription it appears to be Vertue recycling his original engraving of 1715 of the Shakespeare monument in St Mary's Stratford.
Inscribed - Done from the original in the possession of Robert Keck of the Inner Temple Esq. The'Chandos portrait', now in the NPG, which was first recorded when it passed from the collection of Robert Keck to his cousin, Francis, on the former's death in 1719.
George Vertue, writing on the Chandos Portrait in 1719 records -
'The picture of Shakespeare ('the only' crossed out) one original in Posesion/ of Mr Keyck of the Temple. he bought for forty guinnea/of Mr Baterton who bought it off Sr W. Davenant. to whom it was left by will of John Taylor. who had/it of Shakespear.it was painted by one Taylor a player and painter contemp: with Shakes and his intimate friend. The name 'Richard Burbage' is crossed out in the margin. (later insertions in bold.
 Mr Betterton told Mr Keck several times that the / Picture of Shakespeare he had, was painted by one John Taylor / in his will he left it to Sir William Davenant.& at / the death of Sir Will Davenant - Mr Betterton bought / it & at his death Mr Keck bought it in whose / poss.it now is (1719 in the margin)'.
Despite this there is still some doubt - Davenant is known to have embroidered his relationship with Shakespeare for his own ends
For a fuller discussion on the subject of this portrait see -
Searching for Shakespeare, Tarnya Cooper, Yale University Press. 2006



 
 

William Shakespeare
Engraving by Gaspard Duchange (1662 - 1757)
After Benjamin Arlaud (1670 - 1731).
180 x 115 mm.
The BM says after Arnaud's version of the Chandos portrait;
A closer inspection reveals that it is very close to the George Vertue engraving of 1721  of the monument in St Mary Church Stratford upon Avon.
This Illustration to Theobald's edition of the 'Works of Shakespeare'. 1733.
British Museum.
 
It appears that this engraving was derived from a retouched plate of 1709 used in the Nicholas Rowe (1674 - 1718) 6 volume edition of the works of Shakespeare published by Jacob Tonson. Rowe became Poet Laureate. 
 
For a downloadable article written on the Arnaud/ Duchange engraved portrait see
 
 
 
 Frontispiece to Rowe's Shakespeare  1709.
Engraving by van der Gucht.
 
British Library.