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Creator:
Pieter van Bleeck, 1700–1764, Dutch, active in Britain (from 1723)
Title:

Mrs. Cibber as Cordelia

Former Title(s):

Mrs. Cibber as Cordelia in Nahum Tate's Version of 'King Lear'

Date:
1755
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
84 x 82 inches (213.4 x 208.3 cm)
Inscription(s)/Marks/Lettering:

Inscribed, lower left: "Mrs Cibber the | Character of Cordelia | Play of Lear"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1981.25.46
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
actors | clouds | costume | disguise | King Lear, play by William Shakespeare | landscape | lightning | literary theme | men | meteorology | mountains | performance | protection | rain | running | science | stick | storm | theater (discipline) | women
Associated People:
Cibber [née Arne], Susannah Maria (1714–1766), actress and singer
Cordelia (character in King Lear)
Shakespeare, William (1564–1616), playwright and poet
Access:
On view in the galleries
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:559
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Pieter van Bleeck was a Dutch-born portrait painter and engraver and the son of the portraitist Richard van Bleeck. Both the father and son relocated to London in the 1720s. This remarkable painting by the younger artist depicts a scene from Nahum Tate’s late seventeenth century adaptation of William Shakespeare’s King Lear, when Edgar—son of the Earl of Gloucester—darts in from the right disguised as a madman in order to protect Cordelia, whom he will later marry, and her confidante Arante from two ruffians. The actress Susannah Maria Cibber made her first appearance as Cordelia in 1746 and was, at the time of her death in 1766, the highest paid actress at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, earning only slightly less than the celebrated actor David Garrick.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2022



Pieter van Bleeck was a Dutch-born portrait painter and engraver and the son of the portraitist Richard van Bleeck. Both the father and son relocated to London in the 1720s. This remarkable painting by the younger artist depicts a scene from Nahum Tate’s late seventeenth-century adaptation of William Shakespeare’s King Lear, when Edgar—son of the Earl of Gloucester—darts in from the right disguised as a madman in order to protect Cordelia, whom he will later marry, and her confidante Arante from two ruffians. The actress Susannah Maria Cibber made her first appearance as Cordelia in 1746 and was, at the time of her death in 1766, the highest paid actress at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, earning only slightly less than the celebrated actor David Garrick.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Shakespeare in Art (Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2003-07-16 - 2003-10-19) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

"Brilliant Effects" [ Jewels ] (Yale Center for British Art, 2003-07-10 - 2004-01-10) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Shakespeare in Art (Ferrara Galleries of Modern & Contemporary Art, 2003-02-15 - 2003-06-15) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

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

Malcolm Cormack, A Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 24-25, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Jane Martineau, Shakespeare in art, Merrell, London, New York, 2003, pp. 21, 120, 121, no. 30, PR2883 .S52513 2003 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Jane Martineau, Shakespeare nell'arte, Arte, Ferrara, 2003, pp. 192, 193, no. 29, PR2883 .S525 2003 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]


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