Unidentified artist, after John Hamilton Mortimer (1740-1779), Untitled [Falstaff], 20th century. Pen and ink on paper. Graphic Arts collection GC169 European Drawings and Paintings Collection

falstaff3.jpgJohn Hamilton Mortimer, “Falstaff” in A Series of Twelve Heads ([London]: Palser, 1812). (Ex) Oversize 3925.8245f

This unidentified drawing has been in the collection for many years, possibly the work of a student or staff member. It is copied after John Mortimer’s original 1776 pastel or his etching from a series depicting Shakespearean characters, republished by Palser in the nineteenth century.

The etching is inscribed with two lines from the play:
There’s a merry heart! Good Master Silence,
I’ll give a health for that anon.
(Henry IV, pt. 2, act V, scene [3]) and publication line: “Publish’d March 15, 1776 by J. Mortimer, Norfolk Street, Strand.”

The character Silence sings:
A cup of wine that’s brisk and fine,
And drink unto thee, leman mine,
And a merry heart lives long-a.
John Hamilton Mortimer, Falstaff, 1775-76. Pastel. Source unknown.