Happy Birthday Sir John Gilbert!! Born in England in 1817, Gilbert was known as the Shakespeare artist of the 19th century, painting and illustrating for numerous Shakespearean plays, in the Romantic tradition. He was self taught, unable to enter the Royal Academy. He learned wood engraving and created hundreds of illustrations for Shakespeare’s works. His biggest endeavor was illustrating The Works of Shakespeare 1864, creating over 750 illustrations for the three-volume set. Queen Victoria knighted Sir John in 1872. The engraving below is titled Macbeth Visits the Three Witches.