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Much ado about 'fake' Shakespeare portrait!
Hindustan Times ^ | London, October 28, 2005 | The Press Trust of India

Posted on 10/28/2005 7:08:54 AM PDT by CarrotAndStick

One of the most famous portraits of English playwright William Shakespeare is not him after all, Britain's National Portrait Gallery announced Friday. The Grafton Portrait is one of the most iconic images of the literary giant. However, after nine months of restoration work and research, the National Portrait Gallery announced that it has no evidence to support the view that it is of Shakespeare.

Scientific investigation proved that the picture, painted in oils by an anonymous artist, dates back to 1588, when the playwright would have been 24.

An inscription on the painting records the date of 1588 and the age of 24.

However, experts say Shakespeare was about to join a travelling theatre group after fathering twins, and was unlikely to have been able to afford the clothes depicted.

The sitter has curly brown hair and grey eyes and wears a silk or satin scarlet jacket.

"We believe that Shakespeare left Stratford-upon-Avon following the birth of twins in 1585," said Tarnya Cooper, 16th Century curator at the National Portrait Gallery.

"One possibility is that he joined a travelling theatre troupe and it is very unlikely that in 1588, Shakespeare would have been able to afford a costume of this type.

"The painting hasn't really been looked at in a systematic way before. It's an expensive and timely process.

"But the painting has fuelled the kind of 'Shakespeare in Love' theories of the 21st century, of a beautiful young man with a sensitive and passionate

face, of a character with an incredible emotional range."

The Grafton Portrait is not the first well-known Shakespeare picture now thought not to be of the bard.

National Portrait Gallery experts confirmed in April that the Royal Shakespeare Company's Flower Portrait was a 19th century fake.

The so-called Chandos portrait is up next for examination. Technical analysis has confirmed an English origin for the picture, as well as a late 16th-century date.


TOPICS: Arts/Photography
KEYWORDS: aleccobbe; chandosportrait; cobbeportrait; cobbesalad; flowerportrait; graftonportrait; humor; india; photo; picture; portrait; shakespeare; stanleywells; tarnyacooper; uk

...via Google Image Search.

1 posted on 10/28/2005 7:08:54 AM PDT by CarrotAndStick
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To: CarrotAndStick

so the assumption is that he owned the clothes and that they are not theater props?

and that's the sole basis for determining that this isn't him?

or is the left trying to destroy another western icon?


2 posted on 10/28/2005 7:12:36 AM PDT by camle (keep your mind open and somebody will fill it full of something for you.)
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To: CarrotAndStick
Oh, yeah, looking at that picture I can just tell he had "an incredible emotional range."
</sarcasm>
3 posted on 10/28/2005 7:12:39 AM PDT by Redbob
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To: CarrotAndStick
You mean there were scam artists involved?

Shocking!

4 posted on 10/28/2005 7:13:51 AM PDT by starfish923 ( Socrates: It is never right to do wrong.)
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To: CarrotAndStick

Shakespeare would have been able to afford a costume of this type

I think they are confusing painting with photography. I'm sure the painter could paint whatever clothes he wanted to.


5 posted on 10/28/2005 7:14:27 AM PDT by Khepera (Do not remove by penalty of law!)
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To: CarrotAndStick
However, experts say Shakespeare was about to join a travelling theatre group after fathering twins, and was unlikely to have been able to afford the clothes depicted.

Pretty weak argument. Even if he couldn't afford it, the artist still could have painted it there instead of a grubby shirt.

6 posted on 10/28/2005 7:15:34 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (We were promised someone in the Scalia/Thomas mold. Maybe <strike>next</strike> this time.)
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To: CarrotAndStick

I don't think I'll ever understand this obsession with Shakespeare. Don't they have anything better to do?


7 posted on 10/28/2005 7:17:01 AM PDT by EggsAckley ("The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handle")
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To: camle

> ... so the assumption is that he owned the clothes
> and that they are not theater props?

Or even provided by the portrait artist's studio, much
as is stil done with "Old West" photo shops today.
Seems a pretty weak argument.

> ... or is the left trying to destroy another western icon?

There are more significant arguments that the figure
known as Shakespeare, and iconified by this famous image
that may or may not be him, may not have even authored
the works. No original manuscripts have ever been
discovered.

A leading contrarian theory is that the plays and
poetry were penned by a noble who dared not do so under
his own identity, and that "Shakepeare" was merely
his front man.

Regardless of authorship, the works survive.

Asimov even theorized that Shakespeare was a stabilizing
influence on the English language. English grammar and
spelling had been morphing rapidly prior to that, but
it dared not change so much since to render Shakespeare
as unreadable as Beowulf.


8 posted on 10/28/2005 7:20:32 AM PDT by Boundless
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To: Boundless

a giant cacaphony of confusion to thwart any western society's perception of truth. since the truth is questionable, so is everything else about western civilization. there is no real rudder to steer by sinec nothing is solid.

no other society attacks and villifies itself like ours. thanx to the libs.


9 posted on 10/28/2005 7:24:05 AM PDT by camle (keep your mind open and somebody will fill it full of something for you.)
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To: Khepera; KarlInOhio; Boundless

I'm not an art historian, but...

There have been many known examples of statuary with interchangable heads, dating to antiquity, the most famous being the Chinese Terra Cotta army. Also, in the early days of photography, many photographers were known to create full-length portraits by taking the subject's head and adding it to a variety of stock body shots (I am vaguely aware of this being done in mid nineteenth century political campaign paraphenalia and would like more details).

Couldn't it be possible that some enterprising artist painted many copies of a young man's body and then painted various clients' heads on as a cheap substitute for a fuller painting?


10 posted on 10/28/2005 7:33:21 AM PDT by fzx12345 (This space is unintentionally left blank.)
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To: CarrotAndStick
My favorite pic of the bard...


11 posted on 10/28/2005 7:35:46 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: Boundless
"Shakespeare was a stabilizing
influence on the English language"

More Asimov Fantasy. I would attribute that to the printing press and widespread literacy.

"unreadable as Beowulf"

A good reason children should be taught to read West Saxon early.
12 posted on 10/28/2005 8:06:10 AM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission (Waes se grimma gaest Teddy Kennedy haten, maere mearcstapa, se the moras heold fen ond faesten)
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To: CarrotAndStick

His face looks a bit spotty for a 24-year old. Problem acne?


13 posted on 10/30/2005 3:01:45 PM PST by weegee (To understand the left is to rationalize how abortion can be a birthright.)
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To: GraniteStateConservative

You think Bacon wrote the plays?


14 posted on 02/20/2006 12:33:06 PM PST by Borges
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...
Note: this topic is from 10/28/2005. Thanks CarrotAndStick.
Check this out:
The Grafton Portrait... painted in oils by an anonymous artist, dates back to 1588, when the playwright would have been 24. An inscription on the painting records the date of 1588 and the age of 24. However, experts say Shakespeare was about to join a travelling theatre group after fathering twins, and was unlikely to have been able to afford the clothes depicted... "We believe that Shakespeare left Stratford-upon-Avon following the birth of twins in 1585," said Tarnya Cooper, 16th Century curator at the National Portrait Gallery. "One possibility is that he joined a travelling theatre troupe and it is very unlikely that in 1588, Shakespeare would have been able to afford a costume of this type.
IOW, she believes that paintings are just like photographs, and the subject of the painting had to be wearing what was in the finished work, and that painters were unable to paint in any kind of desired wardrobe. That's the British sciences for you. Limners concentrated their considerable skills on facial portraits -- the surroundings, backgrounds, and clothing appear to have been unimportant. Limners were itinerant painters, and when there were no sitters, they'd keep busy painting, you guessed it, generic figures sans faces. The customers would then pick the one they preferred, and the limner could paint the portrait by just painting in the facial features, generally in one sitting, and in a matter of hours. Itinerant portraiture of this kind wasn't an American Colonial invention, and didn't begin early in the 17th century.

15 posted on 04/23/2016 4:51:35 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Here's to the day the forensics people scrape what's left of Putin off the ceiling of his limo.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I recently heard a troupe in Nashville is going to do an adaptation of Henry V set in the American Civil War. I haven’t seen a script but that sounds like a fail on sooo many levels.


16 posted on 04/23/2016 6:25:06 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: colorado tanker

“I recently heard a troupe in Nashville is going to do an adaptation of Henry V set in the American Civil War. I haven’t seen a script but that sounds like a fail on sooo many levels.”

How stupid would a person have to be to think he could do that?

Oh, yeah, I’m as brilliant as Shakespeare. Just hold muh beer, and watch this.


17 posted on 04/23/2016 7:52:43 PM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Since the plays of that time were all about nobles, royalty, etc., any troupe of actors would have to have some clothing that woule fit those parts.

So if a young man want a painting of himself and had the access to fancy clothes, why not use them to look good?


18 posted on 04/23/2016 8:43:35 PM PDT by wildbill (If you check behind the shower curtain for a slasher, and find one.... what's your plan?)
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To: Boundless; SunkenCiv; All

Another possibility is that a wealthy patron loaned him the fancy clothes and may even have paid for the portrait.


19 posted on 04/23/2016 11:48:37 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: colorado tanker

Shakespeare staged in different places and time periods works great; I’ve seen an antebellum south staging of Love’s Labours Lost and a post-Statue of Liberty NYC staging of Shrew, and that movie of Dream about ten years ago was set in early 20th c Italy. :’)


20 posted on 04/24/2016 4:49:44 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Here's to the day the forensics people scrape what's left of Putin off the ceiling of his limo.)
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