art + design

Celebrating Shakespeare at the Art Institute

Enjoy 400 years of Shakespeare at the Art Institute


You may have heard William Shakespeare’s 400th birthday is this year and there is no shortage of events to celebrate the Bard. The Art Institute of Chicago has gotten into the revelry with its six-month exhibit Supernatural Shakespeare. This rare collection shows engravings by Swiss painter Henry Fuseli, one of the 18th century’s most fantastical artists. Fuseli took inspiration in a particular segment of Shakespeare’s characters: witches, fools, faeries and phantasms.

The multi-work exhibit features engraved copies of the paintings that were originally commissioned in 1779 by London-based publisher and print dealer, John Boydell. Fuseli went to work to fulfill Boydell’s dream of fueling a renewed interest in the Bard’s plays during that time. You can view a number of these engravings, including “The Nursery of Shakespeare,” “The Witches Appear to Macbeth and Banquo” and “Titania and Bottom With Ass’s Head” through Oct. 10 and travel back in time.

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