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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Re: Possible New Portrait
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1140  Wednesday, 16 May 2001

[1]     From:   Richard Sherrington <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 May 2001 12:33:18 -0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait

[2]     From:   Steve Roth <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 May 2001 09:29:44 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait

[3]     From:   Peterson-Kranz Karen <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 May 2001 10:23:38 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait

[4]     From:   Eva Dikow <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 May 2001 22:45:30 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait

[5]     From:   David Kathman <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 May 2001 00:24:15 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait

[6]     From:   Thomas Davidson <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 May 2001 07:26:30 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait

[7]     From:   John Ramsay <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 May 2001 11:49:37 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Sherrington <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 May 2001 12:33:18 -0300
Subject: 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait

You should be able to find it at www.globeandmail.com in the Friday and
Saturday editions.

Richard

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Roth <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 May 2001 09:29:44 -0700
Subject: 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait

Here's a link to the image. I'm not sure, you may need to join the Yahoo
Groups (formerly egroups) Shakespeare discussion list to get access. You
can always unsubscribe again right after....

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shakespeare/files/new%20shakesport.jpg

Steve
http://princehamlet.com

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peterson-Kranz Karen <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 May 2001 10:23:38 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait

>The Minneapolis Star Tribune printed a photo of the
>painting on
>Saturday, but I haven't been able to find it
>anywhere on line, either at
>the Star Trib site or at the Globe and Mail.

The Globe and Mail teases us with a link promising a look at the
painting, but the link won't work.  Perhaps this will be corrected
sometime soon.  Or perhaps not.  Those interested might want to keep on
checking from time to time.

Cheers,
Karen Peterson

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eva Dikow <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 May 2001 22:45:30 +0200
Subject: 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait

>The Minneapolis Star Tribune printed a photo of the painting on
>Saturday, but I haven't been able to find it anywhere on line, either at
>the Star Trib site or at the Globe and Mail.

Here's where to see it:

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/p/ap/20010511/wl/canada_shakespeare_painting_cpt111.htmlt111.html

Also have a look at this:
http://www2.localaccess.com/marlowe/portrait.htm

Best wishes
Eva Dikow

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Kathman <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 May 2001 00:24:15 -0600
Subject: 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait

Christine Gordon wrote:

>The Minneapolis Star Tribune printed a photo of the painting on
>Saturday, but I haven't been able to find it anywhere on line, either at
>the Star Trib site or at the Globe and Mail.

There's a pretty good photo of the painting here:

http://www2.localaccess.com/marlowe/portrait.htm

The author of this site is a Marlovian wack-job, but he does provide a
good compilation of relevant portraits for comparison.

Here is the article from the Sunday Times about the painting.  The
author of the original article in the Globe and Mail, Stephanie Nolen,
has been inundated with people trying to confirm or disprove the
painting's authenticity.  The skeptics have come up with some good
arguments (which I won't go into here, yet), but my personal position is
still cautious skepticism.

Dave Kathman

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********************

Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Limited
Sunday Times (London)

May 13, 2001, Sunday

SECTION: Home news

LENGTH: 905 words

HEADLINE: Shakespeare turns up in Toronto

BYLINE: Maurice Chittenden

BODY:

THE Bard of Avon or a lame duck? A portrait of William Shakespeare has
emerged from Canada that is claimed to be the first likeness of the
playwright painted in his lifetime.

A tabloid Sunday newspaper has splashed out many thousands of pounds on
securing the British rights to the picture of a rosy-cheeked man with a
goatee beard dressed in a green tabard.  Art salerooms believe the
original could fetch millions at auction if its authenticity can be
verified.

But Shakespeare experts fear it may again be much ado about nothing as
up to 50 "pictures" of a living Shakespeare have appeared and been
discounted in the past 150 years.

This claim may prove the exception, though. The 17in x 13in portrait is
painted on an oak panel that has been dated by scientists in Germany to
a tree cut down after 1597. Similarly, Canadian art conservationists say
the painting itself dates back to the early 17th century with only a
small number of retouches since, ruling out a modern forgery.

But the source of the wood has been traced to a Baltic forest and there
are question marks over a label on the back of the portrait and a story
that the painting has been in the same family for 12 generations. The
rag paper label, carbon-dated to between 1475 and 1640, reads:
"Shakspere (sic), Born April 23 1564, Died April 23 1616, Aged 52, This
Likeness taken 1603, Age at that time 39ys."

Experts point out that the exact date of Shakespeare's birth is still
unclear today and that it is unlikely a painter would add a label
including the birth and death dates of the subject at least 13 years
after the painting was completed.

The painting was revealed to the world in Toronto's Globe and Mail
newspaper on Friday. Its editor, Richard Addis, a former editor of the
Daily Express in London, says he has had calls from at least 45 media
organisations seeking to reprint the image he published under the
headline "Is this the face of genius?"

According to the newspaper, the painting has been handed down the
centuries through the descendants of a painter, John Sanders, supposedly
an actor from the same King's Men players as Shakespeare. The current
owner claims Sanders's name appears on lists of players in playbills of
the era.

But David Kathman, author of the Biographical Index to the Elizabethan
Theater, said there was no record of any John Sanders in the theatrical
companies of the time. He said a William Sanders was a musician with the
King's Men in the 1620s, while a John Sands was a puppet showman in the
1620s and a James Sands was a minor actor in the 1600s. He said it was
possible that John Sanders was a scene painter.

Stanley Wells, chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in
Stratford-upon-Avon, said there were no playbills listing actors' names
in that era.

"I am very suspicious," said Wells. "The painting doesn't look at all
like the accepted images of Shakespeare."

The two accepted likenesses of Shakespeare are a print by Martin
Droeshout from the first folio of Shakespeare's plays published in 1623
after his death and the bust from his tomb in the Church of the Holy
Trinity in Stratford.

They show a man with a fuller face and much thinner hair, but then they
date up to two decades after the supposed painting.  The shape of the
left ear and the thin lower lip of the painting do correspond with the
other images.

A painting of Shakespeare with an earring that hangs in the National
Portrait Gallery in London was donated by the Duke of Chandos in the
mid-19th century and may be genuine. But the gallery said portraits
purporting to be a likeness of the bard appeared every two years or so.
A death mask, which first appeared in Germany in the 19th century, has
also been held up as a true likeness of the playwright.

But why would a Canadian family hide their painting from view for so
long when it could be so valuable? According to the owner, the painting
has been on his dining room wall for years. His grandmother kept it
under her bed.

The owner, speaking on condition of anonymity, said his grandfather
brought the painting to Canada when he came from England. He had had it
evaluated in London in 1909 and was told it was only about 70 years old.
According to The Globe and Mail, the owner was "a busy man, an engineer
who frequently put in 18-hour days, with kids to raise and plenty of
church and charity work to do. His mother told him that the painting's
history should be his retirement project."

The owner of the painting told the paper: "I thought, damn it, when I
retire and I've got nothing to do, I'm gonna (sic) research this. I'm
not going to sit in a rocking chair and read newspapers.  And, I mean,
nobody in the family moved the yardsticks on this in the whole 400
years."

John Ashington, professor of English at the University of Toronto, was
highly sceptical. "It looks like another Elizabethan panel painting to
me. The man looks too young and Shakespeare was 40 (in 1603). And he
would have been more respectably dressed at that time of his life. If he
was sitting for a portrait, he would have dressed himself up more."

Ian Wainwright, of the Canadian Conservation Institute's analytical
research laboratory in Ottawa, who has examined the painting, said:
"It's an intriguing story. However, the question of whether the subject
of the painting is Shakespeare is still open to debate."

Editorial, page 16

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Davidson <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 May 2001 07:26:30 -0400
Subject: 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait

This is the best photograph of the portrait that I've come across. I'm
not vouching for any information on the rest of the site, though!

http://www2.localaccess.com/marlowe/portrait.htm

Tom Davidson

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Ramsay <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 May 2001 11:49:37 -0400
Subject: 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1135 Re: Possible New Portrait

Try the Toronto Star.

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