The age is right; he’s aged 24 in 1588 and that is what Shakespeare’s age would have been. That is, are they taken from life? I mean, they go back to very early writers like Plato and Sophocles the tragedian. We have the Flower portrait, the Sanders portrait, the Grafton portrait, and the Cobbe portrait. Portraits of Shakespeare book. SHEIR: And as I understand it, the Droeshout got worse with subsequent printings, because they kept reusing the same plate? September 23, 2018. There’s a tremendous assortment of ancient, and not quite so ancient, and more or less contemporary figures among the 206, is it, images. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington. DUNCAN-JONES: Sixty portraits alleged by somebody, at some time, to be of Shakespeare, which are not now generally believed to be of Shakespeare, yes. We invite you to personally participate in the life of the Folger Shakespeare Library by making a tax-deductible donation to the institution. Become a teacher member to get access to lesson plans and professional development. I mean, there’s plenty of evidence that that was very widely read. A historian and botanist named Mark Griffiths recently claimed that he had discovered a portrait of William Shakespeare in an engraving on the title page of 400-year-old book. SHEIR: Well, Katherine Duncan-Jones, thank you so much. There’s a strong sense of a personality there and a presence. The most important of these are: The Soest portrait, probably painted by Gerard Soest. In point of intrinsic worth and literary interest the 'Droeshout' portrait of Shakespeare— an engraving of his likeness given to the world for the first time along with the original edition of his collected works in 1623 — ranks next to the Stratford bust. The Chandos is the portrait that, ever since the Janssen acquired its natural hairline in 1988, has been the favored image for representing Shakespeare on book jackets and the internet. This was the breakthrough that I feel I made about a year ago... That perhaps it wasn’t John, perhaps it was a Joseph Taylor and was the rather well-documented young actor Joseph Taylor. A Midsummer Night's DreamThe TempestNathan the Wise, Streaming for freeFull performance + special features. SHEIR: Where do we get that "Jo: Taylor"? SHEIR: So where did the idea come from that it is of Shakespeare? The Chandos portrait is the most famous of the portraits that may depict William Shakespeare (1564–1616). As you’ll hear, there really are only a few likenesses of Shakespeare where we’re pretty sure we know that the face in the image is his. Sometimes they are even discovered just in time for a major movie, where the drama and romance can be channeled towards an anticipated event, such as with the Grafton Portrait, where “The painting was previously believed to have shown the Bard at the age of 24, and its beauty, sensitivity and passion helped to inspire the image of him portrayed in the film Shakespeare in Love.”. DUNCAN-JONES: Well, they had the leisure that their husbands didn’t have. Can you tell us about that? In the bust, have I mentioned, Shakespeare’s lips are just ever so slightly parted as if he is about to speak, and the Chandos portrait also shows him with his lips slightly parted, as if he is... has either just finished speaking or is about to speak. SHEIR: Something you mentioned in the book is that some of Shakespeare’s contemporaries had patrons who were women, wealthy women. SHEIR: Let’s turn now to the third portrait you talk about in the book. It was published under his name. I think he was quite famous, quite early. And by the time they reached the portrait and the frontispiece, they were really running out of money very badly. And then the final reason is, that I think it’s one of a whole group of portraits of an unfortunate nobleman called Sir Thomas Overbury, who died in the Tower of London, having got into trouble with King James, and I think that it is a portrait of Overbury. The Chandos portrait of Shakespeare is named after its owners, the Dukes of Chandos. So the images of it, it’s undergone so much restoration and so much, well in a way, vandalism, as with Edmond Malone, who got the whole thing painted white. Garland Scott is the associate producer. The portrait is known as the 'Chandos portrait', after a previous owner, and was the first portrait to be acquired by the National Portrait Gallery, when it was founded in 1856. All Folger programs and events will be held at other venues during construction. But then, as his writings developed, the plays also became very, very famous, not just as plays that everyone enjoyed, but plays that William Shakespeare had written. I mean, he said it “was for gentle Shakespeare cut,” which almost implies, "this is meant to be Shakespeare, but I’m not sure that it is.". Do I have it right that you say there have been at least 60 fake Shakespeare portraits? Download royalty-free Sketch William Shakespeare portrait in vintage style, vector stock vector 61122947 from Depositphotos collection of millions of premium high-resolution stock photos, vector images and illustrations. It's in the memorial to Shakespeare in the church in Stratford. Everything about the Chandos, its history as well as the image itself, suggests that … But I don’t think we can trust that bust for all sorts of reasons, but the chief reason is that it needed restoration after barely 20 years. And you suggest that rich married women were more inclined to commission visual images as mementos. Portrait painter Abraham Wivell verified the image soon after the Reverend Clement Usill Kingston's acquisition of it in 1847; in December of that year, a mezzotint made the no-longer-supposed portrait of playwright William Shakespeare available to the public. Oxford University Professor Katherine Duncan-Jones has written a book that invites you to question your assumptions and – maybe – take a new look. In 2006 Alec Cobbe visited the National Portrait Gallery exhibition ‘Searching for Shakespeare’ where he saw a painting that now hangs in the … The portrait of Shakespeare in this translation resides in the first page (title page) inside the book. REBECCA SHEIR: As far as legitimate portraits of Shakespeare go, portraits that could be verified as actually being of Shakespeare, how many do we have? I have no proof that such a thing happened. But I don’t think it depicts Shakespeare. Here is some information about the most important: 1) Chandos Portrait. It’s the one we see of Shakespeare in the front of the First Folio. Become a member of the Folger Shakespeare Library and receive access to special member events. Our main building is closed for a multi-year renovation. This portrait is the second of two that are accepted as portraying him. Some believe that Shakespeare's friend and fellow actor Richard Burbage painted it and gave it to Joseph Taylor, an actor with the King's Men. A great deal of fuss has been made this week about a supposed “newly discovered portrait of Shakespeare” found on the title page engraving of sixteenth century botany book. Who is there? $12.50. The "Chandos" Portrait of Shakespeare: Shakespeare gave the painting to them as a wedding gift. It just doesn’t really seem to work. It doesn’t look very much like the other images, the three that we’ve already looked at. Every few years a ‘new’ portrait of Shakespeare is discovered. Michael Drayton had very, very comfortable relationships with patrons, who paid him money to keep him going while he was writing. He was a father of three. DUNCAN-JONES: And it’s possibly not a particularly good likeness. I’m Michael Witmore, the Folger’s director. Painted between 1600 and 1610, it may have served as the basis for the engraved portrait of Shakespeare used in the First Folio in 1623. This is the only portrait of Shakespeare that has a good claim to have been painted from life, and may be by a painter called John Taylor who was an important member of the Painter-Stainers' Company. The Chandos Portrait is probably one of the most famous, most recognized, and most used portraits of Shakespeare. The Chesterfield portrait, attributed to Borsseler, and the earliest known aggrandized image of Shakespeare. DUNCAN-JONES: Yes, I mean people are wanting... It’s huge, there was and is huge motivation. A very fine portrait. Yes, I mean he just hadn’t made it, no. Previous: William Shakespeare's Star Wars | Next: Auditioning for Shakespeare. “Now Thy Image Doth Appear” was produced by Richard Paul. SHEIR: Why do we call it the Droeshout engraving? It’s a very splendid Jacobean portrait, which I am not convinced is of Shakespeare, for various reasons that I think are probably a bit too complicated to go into here. Free shipping . The Grafton Portrait. Also, the young man portrayed is wearing a very, very grand lace collar of a kind that would normally be worn by, I would think, very few young men below the rank of nobleman, and Shakespeare certainly wasn’t a nobleman. And this didn’t leave him with very much time for sitting for his portrait. The Marlovian Scholar, Isabel Gortazar, believes that the Grafton Portrait may well be Christopher Marlowe. Yes, perhaps this sums it up. $25.25. This painting, now known as the Chandos Portrait, was painted between 1600 and 1610, so the timing fits. It’s very attractive... it’s more attractive, one might say, than some of the... any of the three “authentic” historical images of Shakespeare. DUNCAN-JONES: Well, exactly, exactly yes, because it’s a notional date, rather than a real date, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s more recently been decided that the bit of paper was an attempt at a mistaken attribution. Jun 1, 2020 - Explore Elnaz Sh's board "Shakespeare portrait" on Pinterest. She offers her theories on why that might be and tells us what’s known about how these images came to be. Our reference librarians can help you! Guardians of a mysterious Shakespeare portrait are running out of time and money to keep it in Canada For generations, the Sanders family has preserved a 17th-century painting … Original Old Antique Print Portrait Alfred Tennyson English Poet 1869 Victorian. So it’s safe to say: You imagine that you have a pretty good idea of what Shakespeare looked like. And there were really quite a lot of Droeshouts, I mean, there were a lot of Dutch engravers, who migrated to London and had families of engravers, who were very, very skilled artists in many cases. We had help from Nick Moorbath at Evolution Recording Studio in Oxford. And he seems... yes, there’s one thing it has in common with the bust. Can they be seen as being "of Shakespeare"? So it’s safe to say, you imagine that you have a pretty good idea of what Shakespeare looked like. gave her tacit approval of this portrait. And, in some cases, the wives had quite a lot of money to spend. DUNCAN-JONES: I think we know it’s probably real, because it was... it belonged to Shakespeare’s playing company, rather than to Shakespeare himself or his patrons, and it can be traced from very early on to have been owned by actors who knew what Shakespeare looked like. DUNCAN-JONES: Well, it’s interesting in itself, I think, as a bit of art history. George Stevens complained that the man in the portrait had “the complexion of a Jew, or rather that of a chimney sweeper in the jaundice.” J. Hain Friswell agreed, stating that “one cannot readily imagine our essentially English Shakespeare to have been a dark, heavy man, with a foreign expression’.”. He felt that Shakespeare was French. Find more prominent pieces of portrait at Wikiart.org – best visual art database. It’s very hard to know who in 1588 would have painted Shakespeare’s portrait. He was only 24, he wasn’t yet in any way a man of substance or wealth, though he may have already been either considering joining an acting company or might already have joined one, to bring money into the family. “Now Thy Image Doth Appear” was produced by Richard Paul. Every few years a ‘new’ portrait of Shakespeare is discovered. DUNCAN-JONES: The Flower portrait is, it’s rather sad in a way, because it’s a very attractive painting, and it was given to the Royal Shakespeare Company as a wonderful, splendid honoring of Shakespeare, through this fairly recently discovered portrait. © December 15, 2015. Really, there were only three images that were almost certainly created by people who had seen Shakespeare and knew what he looked like, even if he didn’t actually sit, necessarily, for all three of those images. In the book, you say it’s just three? Garland Scott is the associate producer. Our building on Capitol Hill is closed due to a major building renovation project, but Folger events and programs continue online. Yes, there were a lot of problems about the Droeshout, and my Dutch is not very good, Droeshout engraving, shows us in Shakespeare. M.H. It’s just a portrait, which for a period of time was believed to be authentic. All rights reserved. From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. But Joseph Taylor does fit, in terms of dates and likely proximity to Shakespeare, and likely skill in filling a morning or an afternoon producing a very attractive memento of the older man. The Chandos portrait Duncan-Jones thinks is genuine too, painted by a friend and player named Joseph Taylor. Folger Shakespeare Library. But, of course, the real sort of story behind it is something almost bigger than portraiture, and that is, who was the man who wrote those plays, to which we are still responding to, and seeing performed, and engaging with. DUNCAN-JONES: Yes, well, this is quite an attractive portrait that seems to be of the period. But it is striking that all of Shakespeare’s patrons do appear to have been male. Can you describe for us what this bust looks like? WITMORE: Katherine Duncan-Jones is professor emerita of English literature at Oxford and an honorary professor of English at University College, London. And then, eventually, the white was taken off, and it was recolored, and with that huge, long gap, people didn’t really know exactly what the coloring and the detail was like. But nobody has actually found a John who seems to be the right kind of age, in the right kind of place, to have created this very attractive and lively, though slightly rough, painting. DUNCAN-JONES: Well, it is initialed M. Droeshout, it’s certainly the work of an originally Netherlandish engraver. Also, its provenance is rather odd; perhaps I should just read you a bit: "The owners recalled an old family tradition that the portrait had been bequeathed by one of the Dukes of Grafton to their ancestor, a yeoman farmer in the village of Grafton, Northamptonshire five or six generations previously." I mean the original print run was a very substantial one, and it was repeatedly reprinted, because we have the Second Folio, Second and Third, Fourth Folios, and the actual metal plate, which had to be pressed very hard with its ink on the paper, became, if anything, even less attractive, and, rather as with the bust, where attempts to make it better by repainting it or tinkering with it, in some way mostly made it worse. Most of us can recall with clarity a favorite scene from Shakespeare. And Shakespeare, though he had been to a grammar school, he was described by Ben Jonson as having "small Latin and less Greek," and I think that probably sums up the level of his learning. Received opinion, in say, the last 50 or more years, among art historians and experts on portraits of the period, has been that it was the work of someone called John Taylor. Unfortunately, there were several with the surname Droeshout and the initial M. And the jury is still, I think, out, not absolutely certain on which member of the Droeshout family actually should be credited with the First Folio engraving. Perhaps even a bit sarcastic. We may never find the clincher piece of evidence – though it may yet turn up.”, Some believe that the Droeshout engraving was based on the Chandos portrait. Shakespeare, has stimulated a debate amongst art collectors, newspapers, scholars and scientists. How do we know that it’s probably real? SHEIR: You do some great detective work in the book because the date given for Shakespeare’s birth is April 23, that’s St. George’s Day, but you write that wasn’t adopted as his official birthday until the 18th century. One is that... well, two, the two main reasons why I don’t think it’s of Shakespeare: It’s a very grand painting and will have required expensive work by a fully trained and practiced limner. Catherine Simpson 07 Jun 2012 Quite early in his career, he became very successful, with his very first long poem, Venus and Adonis, which was quoted. And they’re all in one way or another, I think, virtually all, could be described as learned, scholarly, knowing more than one language. This is the Chandos portrait. There’s just one women; that is the poet Sappho. SHEIR: What’s the story of the Sanders portrait? It was edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington. And actually, he’s not wearing a laurel crown, which would’ve made his bald head look rather prettier, and he just doesn’t look very attractive. We had help from Nick Moorbath at Evolution Recording Studio in Oxford. But call to mind the playwright’s appearance and there are many depictions to choose from with few widely accepted. A digital anthology of early modern English drama, Transcriptions, metadata, and images of manuscripts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His eyes don’t seem quite right. DUNCAN-JONES: It came from the owner, Mr. Alec Cobbe, who saw it and then saw a portrait of Shakespeare in the Folger, which was then thought to be of Shakespeare, is actually of Thomas Overbury. It’s so intriguing that, as you say in the book, portrait engravings are almost always based on some picture, but we have no idea what this one is based on. There are several portraits and miniatures of Shakespeare. The Folger is looking for exceptionally qualified individuals who are committed to the mission, vision, and values of our organization. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington. And it has been thought to be possibly authentic, because there’s a bit of paper attached to the back of the wood panel, painting on a wood panel, which gives the birth and death dates and the right age for Shakespeare. He has a rather smug expression. Shakespeare himself left no description of his appearance nor can any … Katherine was interviewed by Rebecca Sheir. shipping: + $9.29 shipping . But he would have... 24 is very, very young. I think he was extremely famous. One of the problems, I think, is that this is the frontispiece to what is called the First Folio, that is, the first collected edition of all of Shakespeare’s plays. But it does appear that the label was written and attached to the back of the painting at a considerably later date. They were almost exactly the same age. And Shakespeare doesn’t appear to have had a major patron in quite the same way. SHEIR: You talk in your book about this kind of Mount Rushmore of writers and great thinkers at the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and Shakespeare is not there. Where does that confusion come from? Vintage Portrait Sarah Bernhardt Hamlet Skull Shakespeare 12X16 Framed Art Print. But he’s not William Shakespeare. And it was terribly expensive, getting these 36 plays all printed and compiled into the volume, and the first section of the volume was what was actually worked on last. Per usual, the authenticity of the portraits are questioned and investigated. Give us the low-down on the first one, the Flower portrait? So it’s a mistake, rather than a fake. In the book, you make it sound like it’s not very attractive? DUNCAN-JONES: I think there were various reasons why we don’t have more. Michael Drayton might be a better example than Samuel Daniel, because he also grew up in Warwickshire, like Shakespeare. SHEIR: Okay, and there are four portraits that you talk about in the book that I’d like for you to comment on. Sometimes they are even discovered just in time for a major movie, where the drama and romance can be channeled towards an anticipated event, such as with the Grafton Portrait, where “The painting was previously believed to have shown the Bard at the age of 24, and its beauty, sensitivity … DUNCAN-JONES: We get it partly from the notebooks of a man called George Vertue, and we get it from several 17th-century witnesses of people who were deeply involved in the London theater, that it was probably, fairly reliably believed to be the work of somebody, we can agree at least the initial was J, and the surname was Taylor. But what I think, what I myself think, is possibly more relevant to Shakespeare himself, is that he was a playwright, a poet, and an actor, and, almost certainly, an actor who played a major part in directing his own plays. SHEIR: Does the fact that we only have a handful of pictures of him suggest at all that maybe he wasn’t as famous then as he is now? SHEIR: So at the time that this frieze was done, and it’s a frieze at the Bodleian Library, perhaps he just wasn’t considered great enough to be memorialized there? SHAKESPEARE'S CHANDOS PORTRAIT PAINTING Cooper, who completed a three-and-a-half year study of all the portraits purporting to be of Shakespeare, believes that the Chandos portrait painting, donated to the National Portrait Gallery in 1856, is the most likely representation of Shakespeare. They lived only about 25 miles apart from each other, may even have known each other as boys. Duncan-Jones selects three Shakespeare portraits—an engraving, a painting, and a bust—that she argues were almost certainly created by people who had seen Shakespeare and knew what he looked like. Browse our full list of Shakespeare Unlimited episodes. SHEIR: And the Cobbe portrait, tell us about that one? “Geoffrey Tristram, an artist from Stourbridge, in the West Midlands, is convinced he has produced the most authentic likeness of the man to date.” An everyman’s Shakespeare. She offers her theories on why that might be and tells us what’s known about where these images came from. I mean Shakespeare was... had a daughter and then twins. The two portraits of Shakespeare that have been widely accepted as authentic have probably contributed to the doubts. This portrait portrays someone who is studied and intelligent. I mean, I suppose they could be based on another engraving, but that sounds unlikely in this case. Oxford University Professor Katherine Duncan-Jones has written a book that invites you to question your assumptions and maybe take a new look. But unfortunately, it didn’t survive some tests, in terms of the kind of paint that it was done with, and it does turn out to be a fake. They are a rather odd selection. You can find more about the Folger at our website, folger.edu. What everyone is looking for in Shakespeare. Katherine was interviewed by Rebecca Sheir. SHEIR: You do a really nice job in your book of discussing how, if we look at the stories behind portraits of other writers, we could get an idea as to why there aren’t more Shakespeare portraits. So it isn’t a brilliant piece of workmanship, but it does have life and animation and that mysterious thing called “presence.” I think if one looks at the Chandos portrait, there’s a sense there’s someone there, you feel, almost embarrassing. Katherine is interviewed by Rebecca Sheir. I don’t myself think that it is of Shakespeare. SHEIR: Katherine, is there some motivation to fake an image of Shakespeare or to claim that an image is of Shakespeare? But it is, alas, a 19th-century creation. And, of course, in a way, nothing is more easy than to write something on the back, on a bit of paper, and stick it on the back of a portrait. SHEIR: I want to talk now about some of the other Shakespeare portraits that have emerged through the centuries. I don’t think it’s a fake, but I think it’s a very splendid painting. For the Folger Shakespeare Library, I’m Folger Director Michael Witmore. DUNCAN-JONES: It’s not very attractive, for various reasons. See more ideas about Shakespeare portrait, Shakespeare, William shakespeare. Her book, Portraits of Shakespeare, was published by Oxford’s Bodleian Library in 2015. Shakespeare Unlimited comes to you from the Folger Shakespeare Library. DUNCAN-JONES: I think that’s right. Sigmund Freud, father of modern psychoanalysis, disagreed with the Jewish diagnosis. “He insisted that his countenance could not be that of an Anglo-Saxon but must be French, and he suggested that the name was a corruption of Jacques Pierre.” The Iraqi writer, Safa Khulusi, said that the man in the Chandos portrait was definitely an Arab because of his Islamic beard and un-English look. I’m not sure who would have paid for that during Shakespeare’s lifetime. SHEIR: I want to go back to those three representations of Shakespeare that you talk about in the book. Choose from a variety of Folger events and programs, on Capitol Hill, around Washington, DC, and across the country. KATHERINE DUNCAN-JONES: Well, being "of Shakespeare," of course, is itself problematic. You know, I think, the general opinion is that it’s a genuine Elizabethan portrait of a young man, who happened to be the same age as William Shakespeare. The portrait is of a man of mature, yet still youthful looks, with the beginnings of a receding hairline, and a somewhat enigmatic, possibly ironical, smile. This podcast is called “Now Thy Image Doth Appear." As you’ll hear, there really are only a few likenesses of Shakespeare where we’re pretty sure we know that the face in the image is his. They had patrons, who would look after them financially and encourage them in some cases to write a particular kind of poem or a particular kind of work. MICHAEL WITMORE: From the Folger Shakespeare Library, this is Shakespeare Unlimited. I'm inclined to think that there is a kind of joke going on, on the opposite page when Ben Jonson wrote some verses about the engraving, and said, “Look / Not on his picture, but his book.” And I think Jonson saw that it was a really rather clumsy and shoddy and inadequate piece of work, and better turn the page and start reading The Tempest. There’s no doubt you’ve seen images of Shakespeare – maybe in a book, a museum or an ad on the wall of a bus stop. But, in the Stratford bust, it has to be said that this rather plump and smug-looking chap who is depicted just does seem rather fat, a bit pleased with himself. The question is really whether "Jo:", which would be quite a normal... it’s a rather ambiguous abbreviation, because it could refer either to "John" or to "Joseph." But it’s also interesting to see what people have either thought Shakespeare looked like or thought that he was, he ought to have looked like. In the decades after Shakespeare's death a number of portraits were made based on existing images or living memory. And I mean even now one would... It’s trivial; it doesn’t, in a way, matter what he looked like, but it would be lovely to know what he looked like. DUNCAN-JONES: I don’t think it does mean that. It just doesn’t ring true. I mean, how long would it take to get such a portrait painted? Paintings Portrait William Shakespeare Elizabethan Playwright Framed Art Print. The portrait in this translation appears to be based on the funeral monument of Shakespeare, which is located above his grave in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. PORTRAITS OF SHAKESPEARE The “Droeshout print” derives its importance from its having been executed at the order of Heminge and Condell to represent, as a frontispiece to the Plays, and put forth as his portrait, the man and friend to whose memory they paid the homage of their risky enterprise. Somebody wanted to claim that it was of Shakespeare and wrote this label and put it on the back. There is a painting, there is an engraving, and then there is a bust. One very big reason: I mean, now we live in a very visual age and we have film and lots of reproductive processes. DUNCAN-JONES: Yes, that’s right. We’re sort of bound to be curious, to have some sort of idea of what this great writer might have looked like in the flesh, even though the desire can probably never be fully satisfied. ‘Ideal portrait of Shakespeare’ was created in c.1775 by Angelica Kauffman in Neoclassicism style. Shakespeare’s age wasn’t so visual in that way, and there were quite a lot of writers of the Elizabethan period of whom we don’t have an image at all. 201 East Capitol Street, SE Washington, DC 20003, Main (202) 544-4600Box Office (202) 544-7077. Well, for instance, there is Samuel Daniel, who was almost an exact contemporary of Shakespeare’s, who didn’t write plays for the public theaters. Have a question about our collections? And that contributes, I think, to the sense of presence in the Chandos painting. 5.0 out of 5 stars A Child's Portrait of Shakespeare by Lois Burdett Reviewed in the United States on April 28, 2003 I purchased this book because I was attracted to it and I intended to put it away until I could pull together an interesting unit study on Shakespeare. The trouble is that the surname Taylor and the Christian name John are two very, very common names, and even among trained painters there are an awful lot of John Taylors. The so-called “Ashbourne Shakespeare” portrait surfaced in the 19th century at the Ashbourne Free school in Derbyshire. He is a competent, if undistinguished, craftsman working within a Flemish engraving tradition, derived from such engravers as Cornelis Cort (1533-1578).The sculpted portrait bust over Shakespeare's tomb in the church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford fails to capture more than a general likeness but serves as a comparison to this engraving. And probably the first actor, who both painted it and owned it, was a very promising up and coming actor trained by Shakespeare, Joseph Taylor, who is on record as having been both a player and a painter, and almost certainly, in some quiet afternoon, probably not even a whole day, did this oil painting of the great Shakespeare. SHEIR: There’s been a question over the years of whether this portrait was painted by Joseph Taylor, as you suggest, or a John Taylor. So I think the Droeshout engraving was done on the cheap, and we don’t know what it’s based on, and it also is not very attractive. There’s no doubt you’ve seen images of Shakespeare: maybe in a book, a museum, or an ad on the wall of a bus stop. And he lived in two places, London and Stratford, and journeys between those two places probably took two to three days every time he made them, sometimes longer than that. And then, moving sideways, Mr. Alec Cobbe’s very splendid portrait is very, very like the one at the Folger, as Mr. Cobbe himself recognized. It’s not a very charming picture. Certainly the Droeshout engraving gives Shakespeare more of an English provenance, a factor which bothered some about the Chandos portrait. They could often devote much more time to encouraging and cultivating other writers than their husbands did. DUNCAN-JONES: Well, to the highest standards of Elizabethan portraiture, it would take quite a long time for a really good, large oil portrait. “Mr Tristram is confident his portrait has done what so many others failed to do – make him real.”. Read 3 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Why would that be? DUNCAN-JONES: The Sanders portrait has been traced back to a man called John Sanders, who was 19th century, so it doesn’t go... the provenance doesn’t go very far back. The Flower Portrait of Shakespeare Debate surrounds many portraits of Shakespeare, not the least of which is The Flower Portrait, an image that seems to coincide with his engraving in the First Folio. Garland Scott is the associate producer. “Now Thy Image Doth Appear” was produced by Richard Paul. It is interesting, and perhaps symbolic, that the Sanders portrait was “discovered” in the so-called “new world.”. Katherine Duncan-Jones is interviewed by Rebecca Sheir. Home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger is dedicated to advancing knowledge and the arts. SHEIR: The second portrait you talk about in the book is this engraving. DUNCAN-JONES: Yes. Duncan-Jones believes that the Stratford bust and the Droeshout engraving, however deficient in artistry, were based on sketches, drawings, and/or memories of people who knew Shakespeare. Dr. Tarnya Cooper, art historian and the 16th century curator of the National Portrait Gallery, London, gave her tacit approval of this portrait: “…it’s not absolutely watertight. I mean, he has been described by one Shakespeare scholar, Dover Wilson, as looking like a pork butcher, though I don’t think pork butchers necessarily have to look porky. But even for something less than top class, I would have thought that it couldn’t take less than a day. Katherine Duncan-Jones is professor emerita of English literature at Oxford and an honorary professor of English at University College, London. Shakespeare looks rather bald and his head is somehow rather unattractive, and rather, sort of, puffed-up cheeks; he looks a bit swollen. SHEIR: Well, how much time does it take to sit for an artist? I cannot prove my theory. For the duration of the nineteenth century, the portrait was lauded as a dignified image of England's greatest poet. Well, that seems to me a bit of a cock and bull story. Why would a grand duke bequeath a portrait that he believed to be of the already extremely famous Shakespeare to a yeoman farmer, who probably wouldn’t have a grand enough house to display a very good Elizabethan portrait? DUNCAN-JONES: Thank you, I’ve enjoyed it. And let’s start with the bust. William Shakespeare shook the dust of the old world of literature from his feet and boldly created a “brave new” one. So we go on wanting to know what he looked like, but it’s a desire that will probably never be satisfied. Want more? Her book, full list of Shakespeare Unlimited episodes. SHEIR: Well, the first question that seems important, then, is why don’t we have more? He was very prolific and he cultivated wealthy patrons, and that was how a great many of the successful Elizabethan and Jacobean writers made their money. But I think a day in Shakespeare's very, very busy and active life might have been more than he could easily spare at many phases of his life. SHEIR: So let’s talk about the fourth portrait now, the Grafton portrait? I would love to find an image of Shakespeare, because we read him, we see him performed, we think he’s wonderful. DUNCAN-JONES: The Cobbe portrait isn’t a fake. SHEIR: So you say it doesn’t matter what he looked like, which then leads me to ask, why write a book about his portrait? And you say that of all the portraits that have been claimed as likenesses of Shakespeare done from life, this is the one that truly holds its own. 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