Alan R. Young has been studying and comparing how Shakespeare’s works were translated into visual arts in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, and his extensive work went into a book called Shakespeare and the Visual Arts, 1709-1900.
Here you can find a generous slice of Young’s research, in the form of an essay centred on the visual representations of Hamlet. What I find especially interesting is how Young traces the ties between illustrations, paintings, toy-theatres etc., and certain specific printed texts, or certain productions of the tragedy.
What goes into illustrations? How does it go there? How does the common perception of a certain character or plot incident shape illustration – or viceversa? A very intriguing read.