Johann Heinrich Ramberg

* 22.07.1763 in Hainholz (near Hanover); ✝ 06.07.1840 in Hainholz (near Hanover)

Painter, Satirist, Illustrator



Johann Heinrich Ramberg received instruction in draughtsmanship from his father. The younger Ramberg soon revealed his talent, and when King George III was presented with an album of the young artist’s work, he decided to support his talent with a bursary. Between 1781 and 1791 Ramberg studied under Benjamin West at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. It was in this period that the Malvolio scene from As You Like It – commissioned by John Boydell – was painted, a painting which can still be seen today at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, USA.

With the King’s support, Johann Ramberg went on a years-long study journey through the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. During this trip he made numerous contacts, took lessons in engraving and completed countless works, among them illustrations for the works of Goethe and Schiller and the famous curtain of the Hanover Court Theatre, unfortunately destroyed during the Second World War.

In 1793 Ramberg became ‘Cabinet Painter to the Royal Court’, making sketches for wall and ceiling paintings for the Hanover stock exchange and Schloss Herrenhausen. The later 1820s and early 1830s saw the creation of many illustrations to works by Shakespeare, e.g. Macbeth, Hamlet, The Tempest and The Merchant of Venice.



Secondary Literature

Album pages with this person

Citation and Licence

Ramberg, Johann Heinrich, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: (Accessed on 26.09.2023)

This text is published under the following licence: CC BY-ND 3.0 DE. Digitzed media reproduced with the permission of the library of Birmingham.

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