Othello and Desdemona (Sketch)
(Pierre Raymond Jacques Monvoisin)


In Monvoisin’s interpretation of the tense relationship between the Moor and his unfortunate wife (cat. 41 fig. 107), the beautiful but distraught figure of Desdemona languidly lifts her arm in protest at the unjust accusations of Othello . Monvoisin has chosen a moment (Act IV, scene 2) when after ignoring Desdemona’s claims of fidelity Othello sarcastically replies “I cry you mercy then. I took you for that cunning whore of Venice / That married with Othello. You, mistress, / That have the office opposite to Saint Peter and keeps the gates of hell” – at which Emily (who can be seen behind) enters and Othello continues, giving Desdemona money (which he indicates here lying on the table) – “There’s money for your pains. / I pray you, turn the key and keep your counsel”.

10 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches (27.3 x 21.7 cm.)
Oil on Canvas

Provenance: New York, Private Collection

Where is It?
Stair Sainty Matthiesen Inc., NY
Historical Period
Neoclassicism - 1780-1820 & Romanticism - 1810-1870
1996-Romance and Chivalry: History and Literature reflected in Early Nineteenth Century French Painting.
Hardback book. 300 pages, fully illustrated with 90 colour plates and 100 black and white illustrations. Introduction (40 pages) by Guy Stair Sainty, twelve essays, catalogue, appendix of salons 1801-24 and bibliography. £50 or $80 inc. p.& p.

(Click on image above)
Price band
$50,000 - $100,000