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Core Record

Title Macbeth, Banquo and the Witches, Macbeth, Act I, Sc. Iii
Collection Royal Shakespeare Company Collection, Stratford-upon-Avon
Artist Attributed to Zuccarelli, Franco (Italian painter, 1702-1788)
Date Earliest about 1760
Date Latest probably 1773
Description Stormy landscape with Macbeth, Banquo and the witches. A castle in the middle foreground is struck by lightening from stormy sky. Trees on right hand side are severely blown by wind - possibly intended to show the force of the witches' power. Soldiers and horses in chaos in the left foreground. The three witches on left of composition, one with a snake around a stick, all gesture with sticks towards Macbeth and Banquo. These two figures wear plaid drapery, metal breastplates and blue feathered hats. Banquo holds an 18th century basket held broadsword and stands with left hand on hip. Macbeth, centre, holds hands out in gesture of astonishment.
Current Accession Number STRPG:1993.123
Subject literature (Shakespeare)
Measurements 72 x 92 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by Elliot Galer 1889.
Provenance A French emigrant leaving this country, Hermon, John A. (auction house), 8 June 1814, lot 11 as 'Zucherelle, A Landscape with Macbeth and the Witches', bought for 1.
Principal Exhibitions World Exposition of Historical Cities, Kyoto, Japan, 1987.
Notes Zuccarelli exhibited in Britain between 1765 and 1782. He came to England a second time after an earlier five year stay, in 1752, remaining here till 1773. This painting is a variant of the painting signed and dated '1760 in Londra', sold at Christie's 11 November, 1956 lot 52, from the Lock Collection (Levey, M., Italian Studies vol. 14, 1959, p. 7). The following provenance details are most probably for this slightly larger painting, not the RSC version: William Locke; John Purling sale, John White (Auction House), London, 16 - 17 February 1801, as 'Macbeth Hearkening to the prophecy of the Witches Undoubtedly one of the finest pictures ever painted by this master' (3ft x 4ft); bt. Sudeley, Charles Hanbury-Tracey, 1st Baron, 110.5; Lord Sudeley sale, Christies, 27 May 1882, (965 N.) lot 95, as Macbeth and the Witches bt. Agnew's; Agnew's, bt. W. N. Heald, 22 February 1886.
Rights Owner Royal Shakespeare Company.
Author Dr Patricia Smyth
 

 

 

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