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.
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.
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?