Ha! I Like Not That”

For this statuette illustrating a scene from Shakespeare’s Othello, John Rogers conveys the play’s setting – Renaissance Venice – through swords, ceramics, feathers, brocades, leather, and lace. These bring to life a pivotal scene in which the vile Iago, on the far left, plants the seeds of murderous jealousy in Othello, whose wife, Desdemona, appears to receive inappropriate attentions from a rival. A luxurious collar accentuates Desdemona’s beauty, while a dagger hints at Iago’s treachery. Through such historical detail, this parlor statue fueled Americans’ popular conception of Venice as a place of adventure, romance, and above all, sensual excess. 

Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano, 2021.

Ha! I Like Not That” refers to a scene from Shakespeare’s Othello. Othello and Iago have arrived to greet Othello’s wife, Desdemona, who is speaking with Cassio. Upon seeing Cassio, the traitorous Iago mutters, Ha! I like not that,” and hints to Othello that Desdemona and Cassio may be having an affair. In this piece the actor Edwin Booth posed for Iago, and Tommaso Salvini may have posed for Othello.
Ha! I Like Not That”
patented 1882
Not on view
2220 3414 38 in. (55.852.636.5 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of John Rogers and Son

Mediums Description
painted plaster
  • Figure group
  • Performing arts – theater
  • Literature – Shakespeare – Othello
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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