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The Ides of March

Photo credit: Manchester Art Gallery

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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. The comet's trail passes through a section of clear sky which contrasts with the surrounding heavy clouds.

Manchester Art Gallery



The Ides of March




oil on canvas


H 153 x W 112.6 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased from the artist, 1883

Work type


Inscription description

Signed, br on base of column: 18 EJP 83


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Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester M2 3JL England

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