Prospero

William Shakespeare's Prosper working his magic
20" ×
16"
Oil on Panel
unavailable

William Shakespeare’s drama The Tempest features as its main character Prospero, the exiled duke of Milan who is also a powerful magician. Prospero lives on a small island with his daughter and two servants, one of whom is the magical “airy spirit” Ariel, who can assume any shape and perform virtually any task. I have depicted Prospero in his island dwelling wearing the mantle he describes as his “magic garment” which I have covered with various elemental, natural, and heraldic motifs.

Prospero has just summoned Ariel, who appears as a sphere of fire and light above his left hand. I have filled Prospero’s “cell” with objects I thought appropriate to a magician’s environment; among the seventy objects littering the room are: in the foreground is the title page to The Tempest in the 1623 folio of Shakespeare’s works; on the floor is Prospero’s large book of magic opened to a page showing St. George and the dragon (Shakespeare’s birth and death are traditionally observed on April 23rd=St. George’s Day); The top volume on the pile of books on the wooden chest is my own copy of the Riverside Collected Works of Shakespeare; a tin whistle, violin, cello, and harp represent the music which features heavily in the play-Prospero’s island is, according to one character, “…full of noises, sounds and sweet airs…sometimes a thousand twangling instruments will hum about mine ears…”.

Through the window a small beach is visible where shipwrecked castaways will soon arrive and provide the catalyst for the drama which ensues.

Represented by
Jane Hamilton Fine Art

2890 E. Skyline Drive Suite 180 Tucson AZ 85718 · 520.529.4886