The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0259  Friday, 31 March 2006

From: 		David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 30 Mar 2006 20:48:56 -0500
Subject: 17.0243 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0243 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

I give much thanks to Bill Lloyd and Joseph Egert for enlightening me 
about the history of the Dugdale drawing of which is was totally 
ignorant, thinking the one presented by Charlton Ogburn as the original. 
  Bill Lloyd gave me the opportunity to make my own investigation since 
the internet site he identified in his posting showed all the versions 
subsequently made of the original Dugdale sketch. I urge others on the 
list to do their own examination of these versions so as to come up with 
their own views and not views planted by those who have axes to grind, 
among them, possibly, to certify that what we have today as the monument 
is what was there originally.

If we look at these versions, most of which attempt to replicate the 
original sketch, we must conclude that the original featured a pillow 
like pads under the poet's hands without the pen. This seems to be 

As to the head, while some of the versions disagree on details of 
architectural representation, they all agree on the characterization of 
the head as gaunt and with a gout. Only the 1723 Vertue engraving gives 
a representation that squares with the present sculpture.

One cannot help concluding that Vertue's engraving was made for the 
express purpose of obscuring the fact that a shift in sculpture was made 
since all the other versions stick with the characterization based on 
the Dugdale of a less than roly poly, jolly face and without the quill 
and writing desk. That is what I conclude and leave it to others to come 
to their own conclusions.

Why the attempt to obscure the fact or the possible fact that there was 
a change? I leave that for others to ask their own questions on this. As 
for me, I would stick to my view that the Dugdale opens up the Hilliard 
and the Grafton portraits as possible representations of the real poet, 
though I have no objection to considering the Chandos portrait as 
authentic, though a much later, more mature version of the poet at 
perhaps the year 1610 at which time the poet would have been about 46.

As to why Joe Egert would insinuate that raising the issue of the 
irregularity in the monument is "cultic anti-Stratfordianism" is beyond 
me since I hold the view that Shakespeare, the Stratfordian, wrote his 
own plays and still am well able to believe that this great poet was 
unknown as a poet in his native city during his lifetime and for years 
later. It seems to me that, after the poet's reputation finally caught 
up in Stratford, there were some authorities that found the then 
monument not fitting since, without the tablet and quill, it would 
reveal the fact that the locals had not known this man in their midst 
was a great poet, nor did the authorities think the monument adequately 
resembled what they thought such a great writer should look like.

What other questions these observations bring up seems for now beside 
the point. Perhaps Joe Egert can be more explicit about his objections 
aside from poisoning the well for those who wish to consider facts as 
they are.

David Basch

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