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IIIF Actions
Johann Heinrich Ramberg, 1763–1840
Olivia, Maria and Malvolio from "Twelfth Night," Act III, Scene iv
Former Title(s):
Olivia, Maria and Malvolio from 'Twelth Night,' III, iv [1985, Cormack, YCBA Concise Catalogue]
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
62 1/8 x 86 7/8 inches (157.8 x 220.7 cm)

Signed and dated in black paint, center right: "HRamberg pinx. 1789."

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
actors | basket | costume | curtains | flowers (plants) | humor | interior | light | literary theme | love | love letters | men | romance | rug | screen | servant | theater (discipline) | Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, play by William Shakespeare | vase | window | woman
Associated People:
Shakespeare, William (1564–1616), playwright and poet
Feste (character in Twelfth Night)
Malvolio (character in Twelfth Night)
Sir Andrew Aguecheek (character in Twelfth Night)
Sir Toby Belch (character in Twelfth Night)
Olivia (character in Twelfth Night)
Maria (character in Twelfth Night)
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Ramberg shows the moment when Malvolio ostentatiously declares his love for Olivia, unaware that he has fallen into the trap of Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and Feste, who hide behind the screen. The model for Olivia was the famous actress Mrs. Siddons. This scene from "Twelfth Night" was one of the earliest commissions for Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery, a permanent exhibition of paintings of scenes from Shakespeare's plays that opened to the public in 1789. The mastermind behind this gallery was a print publisher, John Boydell; he commissioned each painting specifically from the most celebrated artists of the day and hoped to make a further success by publishing prints from the works exhibited. Though for some years one of the sights of London, the gallery foundered financially and the collection was eventually dispersed.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2002

Shakespeare on Canvas (Yale Center for British Art, 2012-01-02 - 2012-06-30) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Shakespeare and British Art (Yale Center for British Art, 1981-04-23 - 1981-07-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Geoffrey Ashton, Shakespeare and British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1981, pp. 39-40, 92, no. 101, PR2933 Y25 A74 c.1 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 180-181, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Rosie Dias, Exhibiting Englishness, John Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery and the formation of a national aesthetic , Yale University Press, New Haven, 2013, pp. 84-85, 168, 172-75, fig. 63, N72.N38 D53 2013 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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