Study for 'The Ides of March'

Image credit: Manchester Art Gallery

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Study for the painting 'The Idea of March'. It is an illustration of Act II, scene 2 of Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar'. Calphurnia, Caesar's wife, is seen imploring him not to go to the senate-house, where he will be murdered. It is a view from inside an elaborate Roman home, with a highly polished floor and marble columns. Two figures stand in the centre of the picture, their backs to the viewer. On the right is Caesar who is looking across to his wife, Calpurnia. She looks up at her husband, her face lit in contrast to Caesar's which is in shadow. She gestures with her right hand towards a comet which has crossed the sky and is moving out of view. Just to the left of the comet's trail is the silhouette of a statue of a soldier, armed with a shield and spear, atop a pediment.

Manchester Art Gallery



Study for 'The Ides of March'


oil on canvas


H 40.6 x W 27.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased at Christie's, 1993

Work type


Inscription description

artist's inscription : painted : location eg brc : date monogram : 1882


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