'She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house,
My household stuff, my field, my barn,
My horse, my ox, my ass, my any thing;
And here she stands, touch her whoever dare;
I'll bring mine action on the proudest he
That stops my way in Padua. Grumio,
Draw forth thy weapon, we are beset with thieves;
Rescue thy mistress, if thou be a man.
Fear not, sweet wench, they shall not touch thee'
Petruchio's speech from the wedding scene in Act II: Scene 3 of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew provided the inspiration for this stunning large scale watercolour by Sir John Gilbert. Shakespeare's plays had a huge influence on Gilbert who had been commissioned to illustrate an edition of The Plays of Shakespeare, first published in 1856, and throughout his career he continued to paint subjects drawn from these great works, many of which were then exhibited at the Royal Watercolour Society and The British Institution.