At first he appeared under a pseudonym, or was billed as ‘A Gentleman’, being concerned about damaging his family name by associating it with the theatre. His early triumph as Richard III, however, encouraged him to go public. Garrick’s fame, and his association with this role, were reinforced with the painting by his friend William Hogarth, depicting him at a highly dramatic moment in the play when the king awakens from a dream on the eve of the Battle of Bosworth. A print was also made after the painting and continued to be published for twenty-five years, indicating the popular demand for the image.
The Museum of London's collection includes not only two copies of the print, but also a tapestry with a design based on the image. This expensive – and somewhat outmoded – item of luxury furniture was presumably commissioned by an early and very wealthy enthusiast. Although the tapestry itself is unique, it attests to the growing ubiquity of Garrick’s image as early as the 1740s. Garrick memorabilia has continued to be made ever since. In the mid-1800s, for example, admirers could buy Staffordshire figures of the actor in this most famous pose. A new statue of Garrick has recently been commissioned by the Garrick Litchfield Theatre to celebrate his tercentenary.