Eugène Delacroix's Lithographs of Hamlet

In 1843 Eugène Delacroix published a series of thirteen lithographs based on Hamlet. I have in Shakespeare Illustrated for the most part ignored American and continental artists, but Delacroix's illustrations are of particular interest because they were probably known by Ford Madox Brown and influenced his series of drawings for King Lear (1843-4).

Delacroix saw an English production of the play in Paris in 1827, with Charles Kemble as Hamlet and Harriet Smithson in the part of Ophelia. This, incidentally, was the production that Hector Berlioz attended; he fell instantly in love with Harriet Smithson and later married her.

Sixteen lithographs are reproduced here; the ones with dates appeared in the original edition of 1843, but the three without dates were later added to the series. Three of the lithographs were rendered as paintings: The Death of Ophelia (1838 and 1853) and two of Hamlet and Horatio in the Graveyard, one in 1835 and another in 1839. Delacroix also preserved a pencil sketch of Hamlet reading that was incorporated into the lithograph of Hamlet and Polonius.

Act I, scene ii. The queen attempts to console Hamlet. 1834.

Act I, scene iv. Hamlet sees the ghost of his father. 1835.

Act I, scene v. The ghost and Hamlet on the battlement. 1843.

Act II, scene ii. Hamlet and Polonius. No date.

Act III, scene i. Hamlet reproaches Ophelia. No date.

Act III, scene ii. The play-scene. 1838.

Act III, scene ii. Hamlet and Guildenstern. No date.

Act III, scene iii. Hamlet comes upon the king at prayer. 1843.

Act III, scene iv. The murder of Polonius. No date.

Act III, scene iv. Hamlet and the body of Polonius. 1835.

Act III, scene iv. Hamlet and Gertrude. 1834.

Act IV, scene v. Ophelia's madness. 1834.

Act IV, scene vii. The death of Ophelia. 1843.

Act V, scene i. Hamlet and Horatio with the gravediggers. 1843.

Act V, scene i. Hamlet and Laertes fight in the grave. 1843.

Act V, scene ii. The death of Hamlet. 1843.