OPIE, John
(b. 1761, St Agnes, d. 1807, London)

Scene from Shakespeare's Winter's Tale

c. 1790
British Museum, London

This engraving was made after one of Opie's large compositions for Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery. It depicts Act II, scene III of Shakespear's Winter's Tale.

The Boydell Shakespeare Gallery was a three-part project initiated in November 1786 by engraver and publisher John Boydell (1720-1804) in an effort to foster a school of British history painting. Boydell planned to focus on an illustrated edition of William Shakespeare's plays and a folio of prints, but during the 1790s the London gallery that showed the original paintings emerged as the project's most popular element.