Richard III Illustrated
In 1709 Nicholas Rowe edited a six volume collected set of Shakespeare’s plays with engraved illustrations depicting scenes from the plays, ushering in a new era in the relationship between page and stage. While the quarto and First Folio printings of Richard III connected theatrical productions and printed books through play text, the engravings in Rowe’s edition take visual inspiration from stage practice. Figure 1 shows Richard III’s nightmare in Act V, Scene 3. The stage-like setting with its theatrical curtain, carefully arrayed props, and realistic figure of Richard III all point to performance. However, the apparitional figures demonstrate the artist’s skill in depicting drapery andtheengraver’s ability to renderghostly transparency, moving the scene into the imaginary realm.