Collection title devised by cataloger
All of the items (except ART Vol. d98 items) have been removed from their former backings, which were labeled with the title of the play, act and scene division and the quotation being illustrated, written in brown ink in Roman style capitals with an italic hand. Some of these labels have been trimmed from the removed backing and encapsulated along with the drawings (no.101, 102, 104 and 105 all have this). Many of backings bore a J. Whatman watermark, and on a few the watermark date of 1830 was visible. In the lower left corner on the verso of all but one of the backings had a brown ink script reading 'J.M. Wright', with a flourish along the top of it. The watercolors lack defined borders, their edges shading off into the unpainted margins of the paper. Drawings measure approximately 7 1/2 x 5 1/2 in or 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in and none are signed
History: These 14 watercolors appear to have been done as a series, probably around the same time period and possibly for a commission. The similarity in mounting and labeling would seem to verify this assumption. The variations in size may be due to clipping after the picture's completion or possibly the drawings are parts of two similar series. Several of these vignettes are similar in design to other watercolors by Wright, executed in different manners, in the FSL collection (see notes for details)
Provenance: ART Box W951 no.97-100 and 103 were formerly part of ART Inventory 289 (no.12,13,15,17), a collection of 122 Shakespearean watercolors most of which are attributed to Wright. For provenance information see entry under Wright for 'Masquerade'. ART Box W951 no.104,105 were formerly part of ART Inventory 286 (no.28 & 29), see entry under Wright for 'Comedy and tragedy' for provenance information. The provenance of ART Box W951 no.96 & 101 is uncertain, though they were probably purchased from Maggs Bros in the late 1920's (Case 1968). ART Box W951 no.102 was purchased from Maggs Bros. who erroneously attributed the work to George Cruikshank (case 1754). ART Vol. d98 no.2,6,9 & 15 are part of a bound volume, for provenance see entry for 'Atkinson, John Augustus. Scenes from King Henry V'
Subject: The following plays are represented: Timon of Athens - Act IV, Sc. 3 (ART Box W951 no.96) ; Henry VI pt. 3 - Act V, Sc. 6 (no.97) ; Love's labour's lost - Act I, Sc. 2 (no.98) ; Comedy of errors - Act IV, Sc. 4 (no.99) ; Twelfth night - Act I, Sc. 3 (no.100) ; Cymbeline - Act IV, Sc. 2 (no.101) ; Henry IV, pt. 2 - Act II, Sc. 4 (no.102) ; Taming of the shrew - Induction (no.103) ; King Henry VIII - Act IV, Sc. 2 (no.104) ; Hamlet - Act III, Sc. 1 (ART Vol. d98 no.2) ; Merry wives - Act II, Sc. 2 (ART Vol. d98 no.6) ; All's well - Act I, Sc. 3 (ART Vol. d98 no.9) ; Henry VI, pt. 2 - Act IV, Sc. 10 (ART Vol d98 no.15) ; Antony and Cleopatra - Act IV, Sc.4 (ART Box W951 no.105). Act and scene divisions are taken from labels on the items and on former backings
Also known as
Extended title: [Illustrations to Shakespeare - small vignettes] [John Massey Wright]