Martin Droeshout

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Droeshout's portrait of William Shakespeare

Martin Droeshout (/ˈdrʃt/; April 1601 – 1650) was an English engraver of Flemish descent, whose fame rests completely on the fact that he made the title portrait for William Shakespeare's collected works, the First Folio of 1623, edited by John Heminges and Henry Condell, fellow actors of the Bard.

Shakespeare[edit]

Main article: Droeshout portrait

Droeshout would have been beginning his career as an engraver when he was commissioned to create the portrait of Shakespeare. It has been suggested that his uncle, also called Martin Droeshout (1560s – c.1642), may have been the artist, and that the two were later mixed up. Mary Edmund argues in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography that the elder artist created the work.[1] More recent research by June Schlueter reaffirms the traditional attribution to the younger Droeshout.[2]

Other works[edit]

Droeshout's depiction of John Howson

Droeshout later created portrait engravings depicting John Foxe, John Howson, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham and other notables.

He also created more ambitious allegorical, mythical and satirical designs. These included an illustration of the suicide of Dido.[3]

Move to Spain[edit]

Some time between 1632 (his last known signed and dated English print) and 1635 (his first known signed and dated Spanish print), Martin Droeshout moved to Madrid and anglicised his name to "Droeswood" ("hout" being Dutch for "wood").[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mary Edmond, "Droeshout, Martin (1565x9–c.1642)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 25 April 2007. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  2. ^ June Schlueter, "Martin Droeshout Redivivus: Reassessing the Folio Engraving of Shakespeare", Shakespeare Survey 60. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, p. 242.
  3. ^ , Godfrey, Richard T., Printmaking in Britain : a general history from its beginnings to the present day, New York: New York University Press, 1978.
  4. ^ Christian Schuckman, "The Engraver of the First Folio Portrait of William Shakespeare", Print Quarterly, VIII: 1 (1991), pp. 40-43 and June Schlueter, "Martin Droeshout Redivivus: Reassessing the Folio Engraving of Shakespeare", Shakespeare Survey 60. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 237-251.

External links[edit]