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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: March ::
New Portrait of Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0104  Monday, 9 March 2009

From:      Stefanie Peters <
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Date:      Monday, 9 Mar 2009 10:29:32 +0000
Subject:   New Portrait of Shakespeare

The news isn't officially being released until tonight, but _The Times_ 
are already reporting on the new portrait of Shakespeare found:

Stanley Wells and Alec Cobbe will talk about the portrait tonight on 
iTV. I won't be able to watch--I thought I'd ask the list if anyone has 
a way to tape the program and share it?

Stefanie C Peters

[Editor's Note: This isn't exactly new news. There were a few brief 
mentions in the press at the time. The story is that Alec Cobbe, an art 
restorer, went to the National Portrait Gallery's exhibition "Searching 
for Shakespeare" soon after it opened in 2006 and was amazed to find 
that the Janssen, owned by Folger Shakespeare Library (normally on 
display in the New Reading Room if I remember correctly), appeared 
virtually identical to one hanging on the walls of his family home in 
Hatchlands in Surrey. He initially brought his portrait to the National 
Gallery for several days, but no tests were conducted at that time. 
Apparently, extensive tests have been conducted since that time, and 
today Stanley Welles and Cobbe are to reveal "what they regard as very 
strong evidence that the portrait is of Shakespeare and that it was 
painted when he was 46 years old, six years before his death in 1616." 
Further, they are to "claim that the portrait initially belonged to the 
third Earl of Southampton, who was Shakespeare's patron . . ." Although 
not mentioned in this account, I recall that the reports at the time 
indicated that the Cobbe portrait was the original and the Jannsen was a 
copy of it. We shall see. -Hardy]

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