Themes & Style

Shakespeare In Anagrams

From the number of volumes of Shakespeare found around Quinton’s home it is clear that he was a fan. He left 23 oil paintings with titles taken from several plays.

Curiously, he chose the central figure from the four classic tragedies for an unusual representation. Set in the center of a theatrical setting stands the “hero.” He is shown as a play on the letters of the name in a form of cartoon. This strange form is somewhat removed from the background.  

Why did Quinton choose this atypical way to portray the characters? It can be proposed that he sensed that we all have our own mental image of these very well-known characters. Lear, Othello, Macbeth and Hamlet—just the names set our literary memory into action. What Quinton would paint would not correspond to our own vision, surely. Perhaps he felt unequal to the task.

The witches confront an anagram version of Macbeth in this oil painting

From Macbeth
“He Knows Thy Thoughts”

From Othello
“Four On A Ground”

From King Lear
“Tis A Naughty Night”

From Hamlet
“I Am My Father’s Spirit”

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