The Death of John of Gaunt
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The Death of John of Gaunt

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This painting, 'The death of John of Gaunt', by James Northcote, depicts the last moments of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. In Shakespeare's Richard II, the old man delivers his famous last words, beginning:

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars...
John of Gaunt

And he ends by upbraiding the king, Richard II, for his conduct of the throne. The painting shows his last words, as he is carried offstage to die.

Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee!
These words hereafter thy tormentors be.
John of Gaunt

The painter, Northcote, lived from 1746 to 1831, and worked for some years as assistant to Sir Joshua Reynolds. This picture was painted in 1793.

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