Francis Hayman, English, 1708-1776
Title: Falstaff Recruits from Shakespeare's 'Henry IV', Part II, Act III
Date: c.1765
Medium: Oil on canvas
100 x 125 cm
Credit Line: Purchased, 1888
Object Number: NGI.295
ProvenanceCollection of Denbies, Surrey; by descent, Lord Londesborough; purchased, Christie's, London, 1888
Exhibition HistorySociety of Artists, 1761

Society of Artists, 1765

Thomas Gainsborough, R.A.: Bicentenary Exhibition of his works in the National Gallery of Ireland, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, October-November 1927

Loan of English Pictures, Stranmillis, Museum, Belfast, 1960

Festival Opera Exhibition, Theatre Royal, Wexford, 1964

Shakespeare in Pictures, Ulster Museum, Belfast, 20 April - 18 May 1964

Swift and His Age. A Tercentenary Exhibition, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 1967

Les Arts du Theatre de Watteau a Fragonard, Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux, 9 May - 1 September 1980

Francis Hayman (1708-1776), Centre of British Art, Yale, 1 April - 31 May 1987

The Iveagh Bequest, London, 23 June - 30 September 1987
Label TextJames Quin’s forceful stage presence can be gauged from this colourful scene. He was renowned for his portrayals of Shakespeare’s great buffoon Falstaff. In this scene Falstaff and his drunken cronies have assembled a ragged company of men to go off to fight in France. Though not based on a specific performance, Hayman’s painting shows the spare setting typical of eighteenth-century theatre, with actors dressed in a mixture of contemporary and historic costume. Hayman pokes gentle fun at the characters’ pretensions and gives a sense of Quin’s exuberance as he smiles broadly at the unfortunate man before him.

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