REV. GEORGE LIDDELL JOHNSTON. Archive. Group of 33 illustrations for Classical Literary works including Shakespeare for apparently unpublished editions, circa mid-1850s. Watercolor over graphite on paper, most mounted to stiff card. Sizes vary, the smallest measures 70x102 mm; 2 3/4x4 inches; the largest measures 458x305 mm; 18x12 inches. Some initialled "G.L.J." and/or captioned in pencil.
An enchanting group of highly detailed and atmospheric renderings of characters and scenes from classical plays, myths, and tales by Johnston (1817-1902), the Chaplain of the British Embassy in Vienna. A prolific artist with a Hogarthian sensibility, his illustrations mostly depicted the political and spiritual turmoil of late 19th-century Austria through satire and caricature (see lot 141 ), but this lot displays his gentler subjects. Shakespeare plays dominate the group. Immediately recognizable or captioned plays include: "Macbeth (10)," "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (7), "Romeo and Juliet" (3), "Merry Wives of Windsor" (1), "Hamlet" (1).
The remaining works include Moore's "Lalla Rookh" (4), Mother Goose's "Sing a Song of Sixpence" (1), Perrault's "Sleeping Beauty" (2), de Villeneuve's "Beauty and the Beast" (1), Grimm's "Cinderella" (3), and "Lady Jane Grey" (1).