© King Lear Weeps over the Body of Cordelia, Barry, James (1741-1806) / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images
This painting depicts a heartbroken Lear weeping over the dead body of his daughter Cordelia. The Irish painter, James Barry (1741–1806), was a proponent of neo-classical history painting, and set the scene in a heroic landscape. We can see Stonehenge in the background, perhaps emphasizing the setting of King Lear in pre-Christian Britain. The painting was made for Boydell’s ‘Shakespeare Gallery’.