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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Re: Portrait of Southampton
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1171  Monday, 29 April 2002

[1]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Apr 2002 18:20:47 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1144 Re: Portrait of Southampton

[2]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Saturday, 27 Apr 2002 17:39:19 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1144 Re: Portrait of Southampton

[3]     From:   Sophie Masson <
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        Date:   Sunday, 28 Apr 2002 20:51:43 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1144 Re: Portrait of Southampton

[4]     From:   Judi Wilkins <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Apr 2002 14:48:38 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1144 Re: Portrait of Southampton


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Apr 2002 18:20:47 +0100
Subject: 13.1144 Re: Portrait of Southampton
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1144 Re: Portrait of Southampton

Tanya Gough (and Noah) wrote:

> Noah and I went on a hunt to find more information on this subject, and
> found the following portrait of Southampton, taken later in his life
> http://www.gorki.net/Art/fa12.html
>
> What we find interesting is that the jacket he is wearing is almost
> identical to the one in the supposedly "gay" portrait, and his hair is
> also long and flowing, making us wonder what it is about the recently
> discovered portrait that suggests he is cross-dressed at all.

My own explanation for the similarity of costume and hairstyle in the
two portraits is that they were painted around the same time,
representing contemporary fashion, and are thus of two different
people.   I freely disclaim any knowledge of costume or fashion, but my
first reaction on seeing the supposed Southampton portrait was that it
dated from the first decade of the seventeenth century.

Of course, cross-dressing is not totally ruled out: it could be a
portrait of Viola de Lesseps!

John Briggs

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Saturday, 27 Apr 2002 17:39:19 +0100
Subject: 13.1144 Re: Portrait of Southampton
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1144 Re: Portrait of Southampton

Not having anything better to do in a spare hour on a damp Saturday
afternoon, I went to Titchfield church to look again at the joint
monument to the first and second Earls of Southampton.  Although the
second Earl died in 1581, the contract for the monument was not drawn up
until 1594.  The young third Earl is depicted on the side as a small
kneeling figure, in full armour and spurred (his father's effigy wears
similar armour, whereas that of his grandfather, as befits a Lord
Chancellor, is wearing a lawyer's robe).  He has short, wavy hair.  Mr
H.W. saw himself as a man of action (a belief that was ultimately to
prove fatal), and that is how he is depicted here.

John Briggs

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sophie Masson <
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Date:           Sunday, 28 Apr 2002 20:51:43 +1000
Subject: 13.1144 Re: Portrait of Southampton
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1144 Re: Portrait of Southampton

I agree. A lot of modern interpretations imposed, absolutely. Quite
apart from the fact that jumping to a doubtful portrait to an assertion,
as the Guardian did, that ipso facto, not only HW but WS were 'gay'!
(Not to speak of the quaint notion that this particular assertion would
cause shock in Shakespearean circles!)

I sometimes think that in our post-Freudian times we have lost something
of subtlety in our views of human relationships. Not to speak of a sense
of fun.

Sophie Masson
Author site: http://www.northnet.com.au/~smasson

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judi Wilkins <
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Date:           Monday, 29 Apr 2002 14:48:38 +1000
Subject: 13.1144 Re: Portrait of Southampton
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1144 Re: Portrait of Southampton

Greetings fellow Shakespearean aileurophiles!

This portrait of Southampton is well known, and how appropriate that
Tanya should come across  it on a cat site!  A similarly famous cat to
share tribulations and imprisonment with his human was 'Trim' who sailed
with Matthew Flinders.  Scurrilous legend has it that he was killed (and
consequently served up) by Flinders' French captors in Mauritus.
Perhaps the originator of that particular urban legend had been too
influenced by Titus A.!  The working title within the family of my own
current research project is 'The Role and Function of the Tawny
Abyssinian in Shakespeare; a Multi-disciplinary Approach.' Unfortunately
the Bard is noticeably reticent about feline research assistants;
perhaps playing with quill and ink is nowhere near as much fun as
hitting the delete key!

Judi

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