About this artwork
George Romney’s reputation as a portraitist rivaled that of Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough, the leading figures of 18th-century British painting. Romney’s true ambition to be a history painter, however, was not fully realized until the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery was opened in 1786. This drawing is one of hundreds by Romney, most of which are in pen and wash, illustrating Shakespeare, Milton, and Greco-Roman mythology. The artist’s sweeping gestures with pen and wash emphasize the struggle and loss brought on by the shipwreck in the opening act of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
- Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- George Romney
- Viola Surviving the Shipwreck off the Coast of Illyria, from “Twelfth Night”
- England (Artist's nationality)
- Made 1771–1781
- Black chalk and charcoal on ivory laid paper, edge mounted on ivory laid paper
- Inscribed verso, left of center, in pen and brown ink: "No. 27"; upper right, in graphite: "Early study for a Shipwreck"
- Primary support: 29.7 × 48.9 cm (11 3/4 × 19 5/16 in.); Secondary support: 36 × 55.4 cm (14 3/16 × 21 13/16 in.)
- Gift of Dorothy Braude Edinburg to the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Collection