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Print - H Beard Print Collection
  • H Beard Print Collection
    Greenhill, John, born 1642 - died 1676
  • Enlarge image

H Beard Print Collection

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    1st August 1820 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Greenhill, John, born 1642 - died 1676 (artist)
    Dawe, Henry Edward, born 1790 - died 1848 (engraver)
    White, William Johnstone, born 1780 - died 1844 (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Mezzotint

  • Credit Line:

    Harry R. Beard Collection, given by Isobel Beard

  • Museum number:

    S.4398-2009

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Henry Dawe, engraving after John Greenhill's portrait (1664) of Henry Harris as Cardinal Wolsey in Henry VIII. Frontispiece to Wilson's Illustrated Shakespeare, published in London by W. J. White, 1820.

This engraving of Henry Harris (ca. 1634–1704) as Cardinal Wolsey in Shakespeare and Fletcher’s Henry VIII is based on the earliest known image of an identified actor in role as a Shakespearean character. The engraving is from an oil painting, now in the Garrick Club, which is a copy after a portrait by John Greenhill (1644–1676). John Downes, who worked as prompter for the Duke’s Company and wrote Roscius Anglicanus (1708), an account of the Restoration stage, thought highly of Harris’s performance as Wolsey, ‘he doing it with such just State, Port, and Mien, that I dare affirm, none hitherto has Equall’d him’. Henry Harris was a good friend of Pepys, who often mentions him in his diaries.

Henry Harris is sometimes confused with actor and playwright Joseph Harris (fl.1684-1703) who was appearing in minor roles on the London stage at the end of the 17th century. The caption on this print misidentifies the sitter as Joseph Harris.

Physical description

Mezzotint portrait of Henry Harris as Cardinal Wolsey in Henry VIII. Half-length, to right, holding a letter. Incorrectly identified as Joseph Harris in the caption beneath the print.

Place of Origin

London (published)

Date

1st August 1820 (published)

Artist/maker

Greenhill, John, born 1642 - died 1676 (artist)
Dawe, Henry Edward, born 1790 - died 1848 (engraver)
White, William Johnstone, born 1780 - died 1844 (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Mezzotint

Marks and inscriptions

'Celebrated actor Time of Charles II'
Written in pencil on front of print.

Dimensions

Height: 34.4 cm Print size, Width: 24.6 cm Print size

Descriptive line

Henry Dawe, engraving after John Greenhill's portrait (1664) of Henry Harris as Cardinal Wolsey in Henry VIII. Frontispiece to Wilson's Illustrated Shakespeare, published in London by W. J. White, 1820. Harry Beard Collection

Materials

Paper; Printing ink

Techniques

Print-making; Mezzotint

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Prints

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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