The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0630 Monday, 10 July 2006
Date: Monday, 10 Jul 2006 09:31:46 +0100
Subject: New Shakespeare Portrait Discovered
The following extract is from The Times (10th July 2006):
Alec Cobbe was strolling around the Searching for Shakespeare exhibition
at the National Portrait Gallery when he was stopped in his tracks by a
painting that was the spitting image of one he had on his wall at home.
It had been in his family's collection for centuries and no one had paid
it much attention, although an 18th-century ancestor thought that it
might have depicted Sir Walter Raleigh.
Scholars have confirmed that Mr Cobbe's painting is the original of the
famous portrait in the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington that was
on loan at the National Portrait Gallery exhibition - an image that
inspired numerous copies in the 18th and 19th centuries, fixing it in
the public imagination as an image of Shakespeare.
While research suggests a date of 1610, six years before Shakespeare's
death, what makes the discovery particularly exciting is that it
belonged to the third Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare's patron and,
some have argued, the "fair youth" of the sonnets.
Stanley Wells, the chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and one
of Britain's leading experts in the field, told The Times: "This is a
very interesting find. Its emergence in a collection which belonged to
Shakespeare's patron is in itself of considerable interest. It's not
impossible that it's Shakespeare."
The full report, much longer than the extract above, and including a
photo of the painting is here:
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