Blessed Shakespeare


My most powerful portrait, illustrating two enduring aspects of ‘what it means to be British’. The first is our ‘National Treasures’: the most important characters and personalities in our modern life. Here Brian Blessed is suitably positioned, on a throne, as King Lear. This great Actor has earned a place in our lives and hearts as a National Treasure through his powerful stage acting, deep, sonorous voice and hearty personality. He has often acted in Restoration Comedies as well as Serious roles. Yet perhaps his most famous role has been as Richard IV in Blackadder.

The second aspect of ‘what is means to be British’ is our devotion to Shakespeare. Shakespeare is central to our studies and enjoyment of English literature and stage acting. All of us can quote lines, most have seen a play, and through Shakespeare we hold a mirror to our own nature

For added interest the date I have painted on the Throne is the year that Shakespeare wrote the King Lear play.

Blessed Shakespeare
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