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King Lear

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framed dimensions: 10' 5" x 13' 5"


Lower left center, on rock: B. West 1788/Retouched 1806


1788, commissioned for John Boydell's (1720-1804) Shakespeare Gallery, London; May 17- 20, 1805, Boydell Gallery sale, Christie's, London, lot 55 to Robert Fulton (1765-1815), New York; 1815, by descent to his widow, Harriet Livingston Fulton (1786-1826); 1828, sold at a New York auction of the Fulton collection to the Boston Athenaeum for $600; 1976, consigned by the Boston Athenaeum to Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York; 1979, sold by Hirschl & Adler Galleries to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 19, 1979)

Credit Line

Henry H. and Zoe Oliver Sherman Fund

1788, retouched by West 1806


Overall: 271.8 x 365.8cm (107 x 144in.) Framed: 317.5 x 408.9 cm (125 x 161 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas