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King Lear in the Storm

Reference URL

King Lear in the Storm 1767

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
Runciman substituted a stormy shore for the wild heath of Shakespeare's drama in his depiction of the frenzied Lear and his loyal supporters. The raging storm is a powerful metaphor for the king's violent feelings as he loses his mind. Runciman's vivid interpretation of the subject illustrates his creative ingenuity, while his style and technique partially emulate the work of Rubens. His fascination with Shakespeare was probably stimulated by contemporary productions in Edinburgh. King Lear was performed at the Canongate Theatre, the first permanent theatre in Scotland, in 1764 and 1765.

Glossary Open


A figure of speech in which one thing stands for another. By extension, it is any representation that symbolically refers to something else.



  • Acc. No. NG 570
  • Medium Oil on panel
  • Size 44.80 x 61.00 cm (framed: 66.60 x 84.40 x 11.50 cm)
  • Credit Bequest of David Laing 1879