1767. Oil on canvas. 79.8 x 64.1 sm. The Royal Collection, UK. Read Note.
David Garrick (1717-1779), British actor, playwright and theater manager was descended from a French Protestant family named Garric or Garrique of Bordeaux, which had settled in England. He started his career of a playwright with a dramatic piece, Lethe, or Aesop in the Shades, it was played at Drury Lane on the 15th of April 1740. A year later he made his first appearance on the stage. First he played under the name of Lyddal. His success strengthened his desire to make a theater career. He became the most popular player of Shakespearian roles of his time – playing Hamlet, Lear, Richard, among others. He also became a co-owner and manager of Drury Lane Theater.
Garrick practically ceased to act in 1766, but he continued the management of Drury Lane. In 1776 he sold his share in the property, and took leave of the stage by playing a round of his favorite characters.
See: Sir Joshua Reynolds. David Garrick Between Tragedy and Comedy.