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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: March ::
Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0138  Wednesday, 8 March 2006

From: 		Sandra Sparks <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 8 Mar 2006 07:14:57 -0500
Subject: 17.0129 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0129 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

Regarding the Grafton Portrait:

Totally personal theories, for personal reasons:

I believe that the Grafton portrait is the only genuine flat portrait, 
for this reason:

The Droeshout engraving appears to have used a model for the head of 
Shakespeare, while inventing (badly) a body in contemporary dress for 
the rest of the engraving.

If friends of Shakespeare knew of the Grafton portrait, they may have 
commissioned Droeshout to use either the portrait as a model for the 
updated engraving, or a sketch of the portrait. Their descriptions would 
have helped him portray Shakespeare when he was older, using the 
friends' descriptions in altering the hair, etc. As an artist, I believe 
he used someone's sketch of the portrait, a sketch that copied the pose, 
the cast of the eyes, and the unusual ear lobe. I still maintain that 
Elizabethan artists were not all as expensive or hard to come by as 
people like to think, and that it is very simple for an artist to invent 
a costly garment to spruce the thing up. I cannot believe art experts 
can be so thick headed as to believe an artist's treatment would be 
totally realistic in that time or any time.

As for the Chandos portrait: again, as I have stated earlier, the 
portrait was owned by William Davenant, who claimed he was the bastard 
son of WS. He was right on the bastard part, but not on the son title. I 
do not believe he should be taken at his word; I think he either found a 
suitable portrait of an unknown man, or somehow commissioned this.

And, the memorial bust - I think somewhere, at some time, there existed 
a death mask that the sculptor worked from. If you compare the bust 
proportions to the Grafton portrait, you will find the proportions are 
in line for the transformation of a slender young man into a heavy older 
man.

My personal observations. Art experts sometimes make me want to sneeze.

Sandra Sparks

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