John Faed. “Shakspeare [sic] and his Friends.” “Published exclusively for the Members of the Cosmopolitan Art Association. For the Sixth Year 1859-60.”
Sandusky, Ohio: Cosmopolitan Art Association,1860. 22 1/8 x 27 3/4. Mezzotint engraving by James Faed. Two repaired tears in top margin with some faint staining and scuffing in margins. Print has been professionally conserved. Excellent impression. Very good condition.
A skillful group portrait of England’s distinguished 16th-century literati. Shakespeare is seated prominently in the center casually surrounded by his notable brethren, including Francis Bacon, Ben Johnson, Francis Beaumont, and John Fletcher. Some of these illustrious men stand huddled in conversation, some sit informally, but all are recognizable as portraits, and all are carefully identified by a key beneath the image. The talent of the two Faed brothers comes through in the way they provide visual information about the histories of some of these men. For example, the patrician Sir Walter Raleigh stands proud and tall, whereas the humbler Thomas Dekker sits less regally, but sympathetically, off to one side. Altogether, a fine commemorative portrait.