Philippe MERCIER<br/>
<em>Falstaff at the Boar’s Head Tavern</em> (c. 1738) <!-- (recto) --><br />

oil on canvas<br />
130.7 x 162.5 cm<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Gift of Wendy King through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program, 2023<br />
2023.3<br />


Scholars Series: ‘Look here upon this picture’ Shakespeare in Art
with Dr David McInnis

Eighteen of Shakespeare’s plays appeared in print for the first time in that volume, and numerous others appeared in versions that differed significantly from the single-text editions that had come out previously. But these are all documents of performance – textual witnesses, not the live, dynamic events we call ‘plays’. They are blueprints for performance, and need to be brought to life.

Celebrating the recent acquisition of two works by German-born painter Philippe Mercier, Shakespeare scholar Dr David McInnis turns to the NGV’s rich Shakespeare holdings from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to explore the ways in which artists, not actors, have sought to animate Shakespeare’s playtexts. How do these artists breathe new life into Shakespeare’s words through paint and ink, imagining scenes and characters that had once enthralled early modern playgoers during Shakespeare’s own lifetime?


Dr David McInnis is Associate Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama at the University of Melbourne. His most recent books include Shakespeare and Lost Plays and Shakespeare and Virtual Reality (both with Cambridge University Press, 2021). He is currently editing Timon of Athens for the Arden Shakespeare 4th series.

Scholars Series
Scholars Series is a stream of in-depth presentations by experts in art and art history that uncover the stories behind works from the NGV Collection. Find out more

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