David Garrick, George Ann Bellamy
Romeo : Romeo and Juliet
Juliet : Romeo and Juliet
height (frame): 24cm
width (frame): 28cm
Enamel plaque in a gilt copper frame; oval. It was once framed with G0968, but during routine conservation in 2009 it was decided to reframe them individually.
R. Walker, Hon Mrs Nellie Ionides, by descent to Toby Jessel MP, presented to the Garrick Club by Mr Jessel and his wife 1995. It is not recorded when it became a pair with G0968, so may not share all the latter's intriguing early provenance.
Gift 967 [with G0968]
29 July-31 December 2016, The Weird and the Wonderful:Entertaining Georgian Polite Society, Fairfax House, York
Theatre Museum (8), original, oil on canvas 63.5 x 76.2, 1751 or 1752 prov: Iain Mackintosh and Geoffrey Ashton, eng: S. Ravenet, after Wilson, 43.2 x 54, publ 5 April 1753, republished 1765 by Boydell [see PM0267], also an inferior engraving by R. Laurie published by R. Stayner, and by Stayner published by C. Shepherd; Yale Center for British Art, oil on canvas 137.2 x 190.5, prov: American Shakespeare Festival Theatre, Paul Mellon; Stourhead, Wilts, oil on canvas, prov: Henry Hoare 1775; other examples of the same scene are known in the collection of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, and in the Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh (A1953.493); see also G0968 and PM0219
Iain Mackintosh, ‘David Garrick and Benjamin Wilson’, “Apollo” (May 1985) 314-320; Ashton, TM, No 8
This painting on enamel is a version of the Benjamin Wilson painting (see also G0246). It is somewhat crude and naive, typical of various enamelists working in Bilston c. 1770. A Bilston enamel in the Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage Collection EM183 depicting a couple in a rural landscape shares the same stylistic characteristics and similar gilt metal mount. It has previously been attributed to the enameller Christian Frederick Zincke, Zincke, who by the time of the first performance of Garrick's alteration of Romeo and Juliet, was practically blind and retired from miniature painting died at Lambeth on 24 March 1767.
The scene shown is Garrick's alteration, in which Juliet awakens before Romeo has died, and 65 lines of Garrick's interpolated dialogue follows. The phial from which Romeo has taken his poison is on the floor of the tomb in the painting and the engraving, but not in the Yale version or the enamel. Garrick's production in 1750, in which he acted Romeo to Mrs Bellamy's Juliet, began a three-year rivalry with the production of the play at Covent Garden, where Spranger Barry and Mrs Cibber were featured as the young lovers. See K. A. Burnim, “David Garrick: Director” (Pittsburgh, 1961), pp. 129-133, and Iain Mackintosh, ‘David Garrick and Benjamin Wilson’, “Apollo” (May 1985) 314-320.
A small engraving after the painting by Wilson is affixed to the verso and was revealed during conservation undertaken in 2009.