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William Tell

The fourteenth-century Swiss legend of William Tell would have no doubt been particularly resonant for Bourgeois, whose father was from Switzerland. The tale centres on William Tell obeying governor Gessler's order to shoot an apple from his own son's head. He did, before killing the governor and liberating Switzerland from Austrian rule. Schiller's famous tragedy on Tell appeared in 1804, around the time this picture was painted. The influence of De Loutherbourg in terms of landscape and of Reynolds for the figures is apparent from the comparison with the paintings on each side.

Not currently on display

Artist
Sir Peter Francis Bourgeois
Date
c.1775-1811
Location
Not on display
Dimensions
76.8 x 110.2 cm
Materials
Oil on canvas
Acquisition
Bourgeois Bequest, 1811
Accession number
DPG467