Will the Real William Shakespeare Please Stand Up?
But does this so-called Chandos portrait actually depict Shakespeare? Indeed, do any of dozens of other "Shakespeare" paintings and engravings offer a true likeness of the man who was born in Stratford-on-Avon in 1564 and died there in 1616?
These are the central questions addressed in "Searching for Shakespeare," a fascinating exhibition on view here through May 29. For this inquiry, the National Portrait Gallery has for the first time united the six oils most frequently said to portray Shakespeare. For further comparison, it is also presenting the 1623 engraving of him in the First Folio of his collected plays, as well as a plaster cast of the bust that was placed above his grave in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford sometime between 1620 and 1623.
And the answer? Well, for all the light that Shakespeare threw on human nature, his own life remains shadowy: his education, the "lost years" between 1585 and 1592, his relations with his wife and children and, yes, even his appearance are very much matters of conjecture.
Still, of all the competing paintings, the Chandos portrait has emerged as the strongest contender. "It's not absolutely watertight," said Tarnya Cooper, the gallery's curator for 16th-century painting, who organized the show, "but the evidence has increased. It is a portrait that probably represents Shakespeare, but will we ever have watertight evidence?"
comments powered by Disqus
- Iraq’s Long-Lost Mythical Temple Has Been Found…and Is In Danger of Disappearing Again
- CBS features in-depth coverage of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights law
- Archive of WW II war crimes made public
- They tried to kill Hitler. Now they’re heroes.
- ‘Clinton Inc.’ Author Dishes on Monica Lewinsky and the Blue Dress
- Ukrainian Leaders Are Using David Barton's Theocratic Pseudo-History To Build Their Nation
- John D’Emilio, renowned professor of gay studies, retires
- Journalist Michael Wolraich says he wrote his new book about the Progressives to teach Americans how to do liberal politics
- It’s Martin Kramer vs. Ari Shavit vs. Benny Morris
- It's official: 2014 AHA election results are in