The Death of Cardinal Beaufort card

The Death of Cardinal Beaufort

WAG 1540

Currently not on display


Fuseli drew this in Rome in 1772 and it was the first picture he exhibited at the Royal Academy. Fuseli had long held a fascination with the works of William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), depicting many of his works. He often tried to convey the inner emotions of Shakespeare's characters and well as his own interpretations of the plays. This drawing illustrates 'Henry VI, Part II' and the death of Cardinal Beaufort in Act III, Scene 3. This was a popular passage in Fuseli's time, for its expression of tragedy, pity and fear. Fuseli was close friends with William Roscoe (1753 - 1831), the Liverpool businessman, lawyer and abolitionist, once describing Roscoe as 'the man nearest my heart'. Fuseli visited Liverpool often, exhibiting works at the Liverpool Academy over several years. Many Liverpool collectors owned works by Fuseli, probably purchased at these exhibitions. Local artists, including the sculptor John Gibson (1790 - 1866), studied and were influenced by Fuseli's works.