Hamlet and the Ghost

Frederic James Shields, 1833 - 1911

Hamlet and the Ghost

Frederic James Shields 1833 - 1911


An atmospheric scene, showing a deserted seascape at night populated only by the figures of a man and a ghost and illuminated by a full moon set low in a cloudy sky. The two figures confront each other. The left figure turns to the right in three-quarter view, his head lowered and shadowy, his sword drawn and held pointing forward in his right hand; the pale figure of the ghost is seen forward-facing, his head jutting towards the man, armoured and with fists clenched. They appear to be stood on a small island of sand between the sea in the background and an inlet of water in the foreground with the moon casting a shaft of reflected light between them. In the left background, the coast is seen to curve to form a promontory with steep cliffs descending straight into the sea; a large building sits on this high land set back some distance from the coast. The strange cloud formations dominate the composition with a glowing ring of orange cloud around the moon blending into the surrounding deep purple sky with black clouds streaked upwards.

Object Name

Hamlet and the Ghost

Creators Name

Frederic James Shields

Date Created



Canvas: 60cm x 41cm
Frame: 79cm x 60cm

accession number


Place of creation



Oil paint on canvas


Leicester Collier Bequest


© Manchester Art Gallery

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