RECENT EXHIBITIONS OF INTEREST
The David and Alfred Smart Gallery of The University of Chicago held an exhibition from 4 October to 26 November 1978 of thirty-one of the large plates published by John and Josiah Boydell to accompany The Dramatic Works of William Shakspeare (1791-1803). Accompanying the exhibition was a catalogue:
Alderman Bodyell’s Shakespeare [sic] Gallery: An Exhibition of a Selection of the Engravings Made After the Paintings Comissioned by Alderman John Boydell, Organized by the David and Alfred Smart Gallery. With an Introduction Written Expressly for this Catalogue by Richard W. Hutton and Catalogue Entries Prepared and Written By Laura Nelke. The David and Alfred Smart Galler, The University of Chicago .The useful, unpretentious catalogue reproduces fifteen of the plates. The author of the introduction is preparing a doctoral dissertation on Robert Bowyer’s[e] Historic Gallery and its illustrations to Hume’s History of England (1806). The Smart Gallery, itself a very new institution, had been given the 100 large separate plates in 1976.
The Boydell Shakspeare, the Bowyer Hume, and the Macklin Bible (1800) were the most ambitious illustrated editions undertaken at that or perhaps any other time in England, but Blake had a hand only in the first, and that in a minor way, and he felt the neglect bitterly. On 11 December 1805 he wrote: “I was alive & in health & with the same Talents I now have all the time of Boydells Macklins Bowyers & other Great Works. I was known by them & was lookd upon by them as Incapable of Employment in those Works.” Or, more outrageously,
Was I . . . angry with Macklin or Boydel or Bowyer
Because they did not say O what a Beau ye are [Notebook, p. 23]
It is appropriate and gratifying that these great works are geing exhibited and seriously studied once more. G. E. BENTLEY, JR., UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
During February and March 1979 the Yale Center for British Art held a special exhibition of drawings by George Romney, organized by the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1977, and with an illustrated catalogue by Patricia Jaffe. Scheduled for 12 September-11 November 1979 is an exhibition on “The Fuseli Circle in Rome: Early Romantic Art of the 1770’s,” with illustrated catalogue published by the Center.