Monday, 15 February 2016

The Lead Statue of Shakespeare and its settings at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Covent Garden.

 
 
A Life Size Lead Statue of William Shakespeare
In the Foyer of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Covent Garden.
by John Cheere.
 
A mirror image of the statue on the monument by Scheemakers in Westminster Abbey.
 
 
Some authors suggest that it was commissioned for the Theatre Royal by David Garrick - but given the nature of lead sculpture this would seem unlikely, unless it had been moved prior to the fire in 1809. British History Online states that it was presented to the Theatre by the brewer Samuel Whitbread (1764 - 1815) in 1809 and placed on the portico some time after 1820 which seems much more plausible, Whitbread purchased 20 statues from the second sale of the works of Cheere for his garden at Southill Park in Bedfordshire for £975. 15 shillings.
 
This version appears to be a later cast of that commissioned for the Shakespeare Jubilee at Stratford upon Avon in 1769 by David Garrick and now in the fa├žade of the town hall (see previous post).
 
 
Shakespeare Stratford upon Avon Town Hall
 
____________________________________
 
 
 
___________________________
 
The Theatre Royal Lead Statue of Shakespeare.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
_________________________
 
 The Theatre Royal Drury Lane (illustrations).
 
Anyone familiar with this blog will recognise that one of its primary purposes is to provide visual information on its subject which is loosely that of 18th century portrait sculpture and its setting. the development of the internet allows someone like me to access all sorts of information, which in the past would require visits to many libraries and archives to obtain this information and then to obtain permissions to publish the results of my researches.
 
I am posting these pictures here in order to give some idea of the history and setting of the lead sculpture of William Shakespeare by John Cheere. There are is a very good website set up by Arthur LLoyd - http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/DruryLane.htm and British History Online - http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vol35/pp9-29 both of which are very good in their own ways but as neither give a visual overview of the history of the Theatre Royal and as no one else has done it I am attempting to rectify this.
 
It doesn't pretend to be comprehensive and has been done purely for my own interest and pleasure.
 
 
Preparatory Sketch by Benjamin Dean Wyatt (1755 - 1852).
For the engraving below.
Pen Pencil Sepia Ink and Water Colour.
19.3 x 29.8
Victoria and Albert Museum.
 
 
 
Section through the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
 
Above - Section through the Grand Staircases and Rotunda of the Fourth Theatre Royal Drury Lane by Benjamin Wyatt (Architect) - From 'Illustrations of the public buildings of London, Volume 1' by J. Britton and A. Pugin,1825. Key:- a. a. Principal Flights of Steps. b. b. Entrances to Dress Circle. c. c. Ditto, First Circle. d. d. Ditto, Second Circle. e. Rotunda, lower story. f. Ditto, upper story. g. Stone Gallery-floor. h. Iron cradling supporting the upper flights.
This engraving shows the statue of Shakespeare as the Scheemakers monument and not as the mirror image lead version currently in the foyer and illustrated here!
 
 
The Theatre Royal Front before the addition of the portico from the same publication.
 
These images lifted from the truly excellent website of Arthur Lloyd.
For an in overview of the developments at this Theatre and many others.
 
 
For a really in depth study of the history and architecture of this theatre see -
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cross section of the Rotunda and Main Staircase.
Showing the Statue of Shakespeare in its original position
Drawing after 1812
233 x 325
Winston Collection
Victoria and Albert Museum
 
 
 
 
Section Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Clearly showing the statue of Shakespeare
undated pen and wash drawing attributed to Benjamin Wyatt
193 x 298 mm
Winston Collection
Victoria and Albert Museum
 
 
 
This Plan Lifted from -
 
 
 
 
Ground Plan of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane 1820's
Attributed to James Winston
364 x 490 mm.
Although Mr. Samuel Beazley Jr. was the architect for the proposed alterations to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in the 1820's, this collection indicates that Mr James Winston (born c.1773) played an active role in the proposal alterations. It is unclear in certain items if he actually drew them himself or copied from original ones and added some notes. Appointed as Acting Manager of Drury Lane in 1819 Winston continued to be involved with the theatre until c.1827 and kept unpublished diaries of his time there.
Winston Collection
 
This Image from the Victoria and Albert Museum
 
 
Winston's Plan derived from Wyatts Model of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Paper Watermarked, 1817.
515 x 385 mm.
Winston Collection.
Victoria and Albert Museum.
 
 
Theatre Royal Drury Lane Henry Holland -
Showing Russell Street Frontage.
Unfinished Drawing.
213 x 276 mm.
From the Winston Collection
Victoria and Albert Museum.
 
 
 
 
Theatre Royal Drury Lane  -
Showing Bridges Street Frontage.
c. 1820
388 x 523 mm.
From the Winston Collection
Victoria and Albert Museum.
 
 
Theatre Royal Drury Lane
showing the phases of building from 1748
From the Winston Collection
watermarked 1829
 
Victoria and Albert Museum.
__________________
 
 
 
Engraving of the Bridges Street Front of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, 1812.
Frederick Wilton Lichfield Stockdale.
175 x 242 mm
British Museum
 
 
Front of the Bridges Street Front of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane,
Whittle and Laurie,1812.
 
 
Bridges Street Front of The Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1814.
published with the interior of 1792
Engravings Capon above, Whichlo below.
320 x 248 mm.
British Museum.
 
 
Bridges Street Front of the New Drury Lane Theatre. Engraving by Busby after Whichelo, 1 September 1813 for The Beauties of England and Wales.
 
 
 
 
 Aquatint of The Bridges Street Front of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. 
from Brayley's Theatre of London, 1826.
140 x 188mm.
British Museum.
 
 
Theatre Royal Drury Lane
by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd
3.5 x 5.75 inches
Published as an engraving -engraved by Thomas Dale and published in James Elmes Metropolitan Improvements, 1827 - 31.
 
This appears to show the statue of Shakespeare (mirror image of the Scheemakers Monument) on the portico
 
Another engraving of a similar view from Leigh's New Picture of London of 1828
again showing the mirror image lead statue on the portico.
 
There have been four Theatres built on the site of the present Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The first was built by the dramatist Thomas Killigrew under charter from Charles II, and opened with a production of 'The Humorous Lieutenant' on the 7th of May 1663. This first Theatre was very successful but was destroyed by fire in 1672. The second Theatre, built on the site of the first, is thought to have been built by the architect Sir Christopher Wren and opened in 1674. This is the Theatre which David Garrick ran with great success for 30 years from 1747. Garrick was followed by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, with such notable Thespians as Sarah Siddons and John Philip Kemble taking the stage. This second Theatre was demolished in 1791. The Third Theatre Royal, Drury Lane,  was constructed between 1791 and 1794 by Henry Holland and was billed as a "Fireproof Theatre," but  burnt down only 16 years later in 1809. The Forth and present Theatre was designed by Benjamin Wyatt and built largely under the influence (pun intended) of Samuel Whitbread the Brewer and opened with a production of Hamlet on 10 October 1812.
 
The Portico was added in 1820 and the Russell Street Colonnade on the North side was built in 1831.
 
 
_______________________
The Second Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Bridges Street Front added by Robert Adam for David Garrick in 1773
 
 
_______________________________
 
The Third Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
 
 
 
Plan of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, 1800.
Engraving by W. Thomas after F. Trecourt.
351 x 248 mm.
British Museum.
 
 
View from the South East, 1809.
_________________
 
 
Engraving of Holland's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Russell Street Front
Prior to the fire of 1809.
 
 

 
Theatre Royal from the North East prior to its destruction by fire 24 February, 1809.
Drawn by W Capon
Engraved William Wise
Published 1811.
333 x 259 mm.
Victoria and Albert Museum.
 


 
 
Theatre Royal from the North East prior to its destruction by fire 24 February, 1809.
Original Drawing by W Capon
Published 1811.
148 x 233 mm
Victoria and Albert Museum
 
 
 
 
Auditorium, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, 1813.
Published by La Belle Assemblee
Lithograph
228 x268 mm.
Victoria and Albert Museum
 
 
 View of the corner of Drury Lane and Russell St, 1813.
Showing the North Elevation of the Theatre Royal and shops and tenements.
237 x 333 mm.
From the Winston Collection
Victoria and Albert Museum.
 
 
View of the corner of Drury Lane and Russell St, 1813.
Showing the North Elevation of the Theatre Royal and shops and tenements.
237 x 333 mm.
by William Capon
From the Winston Collection
Victoria and Albert Museum.

 
 
 
Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Plan of 1816.
Paper watermarked 1817.
442 x 344 mm.
From the Winston Collection
Victoria and Albert Museum.
 
 
 
Plan of Theatre Royal Drury Lane, 1778.
Lifted from -
 
 
 
Plan of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, 1748.
again lifted from -
 
_____________________
 
The destruction by Fire of the Third Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1809.
View of the East end after the fire
Engraving by Wise after Whichelo. Published - 7 August 1811.
 
View of the 1809 Fire of the Theatre Royal from Westminster Bridge.
Anonymous
Museum of London.
 
 
Drawing of the Ruins of Holland's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
showing the aftermath of the fire of 1809
197 x 248 mm.
From the Winston Collection
 
 Victoria and Albert Museum.
________________________
 Just to muddy the water - from the Gentleman's Magazine, October 1812.
 
Gentleman's Magazine October, 1812. This article mentions a cast of Roubiliac's Statue of Shakespeare in the Garden Temple at David Garrick's villa at Hampton.
 
I believe the reporter was in error here and hadn't checked his facts - there had been a cast of Roubiliac's Shakespeare at the Theatre Royal but it was probably destroyed in the disastrous fire of 1809. The statue referred to is that illustrated in the Wyatt drawing and engraving illustrated above which was the lead cast presented to the Theatre by Samuel Whitbread in late 1809.
 
 
Minding the cart outside Drury Lane:
 
 
 
This early photograph shows the statue of Shakespeare on the portico.
 
 
  Drury Lane Theatre, late 19th-early 20th century. : News Photo
 
Another 20th century photograph clearly showing the statue of Shakespeare on the portico of the Theatre Royal. Rose Marie debuted at the Theatre Royal 20 March 1925.
 
Photo Harry Bedford Lemere
 
______________________________________
 
Cast of the Roubiliac / Garrick statue of Shakespeare
by David Brucciani.

To the best of my knowledge the next mention of a cast of the Roubiliac Shakespeare is in 1853
when a cast was purchased for the Crystal Palace from Brucciani.
 
 
 
Undated photograph of the Brucciani Shakespeare
Crystal Palace Sydenham
 
 
Photograph of the Brucciani cast of the statue of Shakespeare by Roubiliac
in the South East Transept of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham.
Albumen Print by Phillip Henry Delamotte c.1859.
Victoria and Albert Museum.
 
 
 
Page from the 1853 inventory of purchases of casts for the Crystal Palace
by Owen Jones and Digby Wyatt showing the statue of Shakespeare after Roubiliac, a bust of Shakespeare after Roubiliac a bust of Pope and a small statuette of Shakespeare after the Scheemakers monument in Westminster Abbey.
 
For an excellent in depth article on the Crystal Palace Plaster Casts see Sculpture Journal Vol 15.2 page 173 - Plaster Casts of the Crystal Palace Sydenham by John Kenworthy Browne.
___________________________
 
 
 
 Theatre Ticket for the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane with a portrait of William Shakespeare.
After George Vertue.
Silver
Size 1.68 inches?
1730
British Museum

 
William Shakespeare by Scheemakers
Stone
Wilton House