Beatrice Listening to Hero and Ursula.
* 1741 in Zürich † 1825 in London
Mezzotint by John Jones (1745 - London - 1797). Size of sheet: 60 x 50 cm.
Literature: Chaloner Smith 87, Schiff 748, Weinglass 113.
A particularly fine and rich impression of this rare print in very good condition.
Published by John Jones (6 January 1791, 75 Great Portland Street) after the painting which is now in the Gemäldegalerie, Dresden. The subject derives from Willliam Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing (Act 3, Scene 1). The scene takes place in Leonato's garden: 'Hero and Ursula are plotting to get Benedick and Beatrice to fall in love with each other, so they pretend not to see Beatrice eavesdropping on them, and talk as of poor Benedick is pining for love of the heartless Beatrice' (Weinglass, p. 123).
In 1790 another large print of the same subject was published by Jean Pierre (Peter) Simon after Rev. Matthew Peters as part of Boydell's flawed Shakespeare Gallery project - far less striking than Fuseli's interpretation.