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Painting - John Henderson as Iago in <i>Othello</i> by William Shakespeare
  • John Henderson as Iago in Othello by William Shakespeare
    Stuart, Gilbert, born 1755 - died 1828
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John Henderson as Iago in Othello by William Shakespeare

  • Object:


  • Date:

    1786 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Stuart, Gilbert, born 1755 - died 1828 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Rev. Alexander Dyce

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

John Henderson, one of the most celebrated Shakespearean actors of his day, is portrayed by the portraitist Gilbert Stuart in his signature role, Iago, the villain of Othello. Henderson played Iago in a highly successful production of Othello at Covent Garden between 1780-85 and was painted and drawn in this role by numerous artists. This portrait, which appears to be unfinished, was originally attributed to John Opie when it was bequeathed to the Museum.

Physical description

A head-and-shoulders portrait, in three-quarter profile, of the actor John Henderson. Henderson is draped in a loose-fitting red garment and gazes menacingly out of the canvas.


1786 (made)


Stuart, Gilbert, born 1755 - died 1828 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

oil on canvas


Height: 53.6 cm estimate, Width: 43.2 cm estimate, :

Object history note

Bequeathed by Rev. Alexander Dyce, 1869

Historical context note

Gilbert Stuart (1735-1828), a British portraitist, is perhaps best remembered for his iconic portrait of George Washington.

Descriptive line

Oil on canvas, 'John Henderson as Iago in "Othello' by William Shakespeare', attributed to Gilbert Stuart, 1786.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ashton, Geoffrey. Catalogue of Paintings at the Theatre Museum, London. ed. James Fowler, London : Victoria and Albert Museum, 1992. 224p. ill. ISBN 1851771026

Production Note

When Dyce bequeathed the painting to the museum, it was attributed to John Opie.


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted



Paintings; Shakespeare


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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