Oil on canvas, signed lower right and dated 1873
Image size: 23 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches (59.5 x 49.5 cm)
Original frame

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Desdemona is a character in William Shakespeare’s play Othello (c. 1601–1604). She was a beauty who enrages and disappoints her father, a Venetian senator, when she elopes with Othello, a Moorish military prodigy. When her husband is deployed to Cyprus in the service of the Republic of Venice, Desdemona accompanies him. There, her husband is manipulated by his ensign Iago into believing she is an adulteress, and, in the last act, she is murdered by her estranged spouse.

Richard Waller
Painter of landscape, genre and portraits. Waller was born in Birmingham, where he also studied. He exhibited widely, including at the Royal Academy between 1845 and 1868. His paintings were often reproduced in ‘The London Evening News’.