Oil on canvas
Harold : The Battle of Hastings
height (frame): 46cm
width (frame): 37cm
John Bell; Charles Mathews
1833 London, Queen's Bazaar, Oxford Street, "Mr Mathews's Gallery of Theatrical Portraits" (181)
1975 Brighton Art Gallery and Museum "Gothick" (J14)
Philippe Audinet for Bell's British Library 23 February 1793, line 11.5x8.2, published Bell's "British Theatre" (1797), vol 6, with the quotation: "-disastrous Signs! / What shall I do?"
The scene is "The English Camp. The royal Tent with the Banners of Harold unfurled." Harold wears a complete suit of chain-mail with a red belt edged in gold, a dark green mantle edged in gold and lined and trimmed with ermine. He leans contemplatively at the entrance to his tent.
Cumberland's tragedy was first performed at Drury Lane on 24 January 1778, with Bensley as the original Harold. The play was given thirteen times during the season. After a single performance the following season, on 1 October 1778, the play was dropped from the repertory.