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David Garrick as King Lear

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.


c. 1815


Richard Westall
British, 1765-1836

About this artwork

David Garrick, one of the most influential actors of 18th century Britain, appears here in the guise of the titular character from William Shakespeare’s King Lear, a role he played numerous times on the stage. The play follows Lear’s mental breakdown after he relinquishes his power and divides his kingdom between two of his daughters. In this portrait, made after Garrick’s passing and based on prints created from his death mask, the actor wears a crown of wheat and wildflowers in reference to a famous scene in the play during which the king rages at a storm, daring it to harm him.


On View, Gallery 219


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Richard Westall


David Garrick as King Lear


United Kingdom (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


73 × 59.7 cm (28 3/4 × 23 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Richard L. Feigen

Reference Number


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