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Who’s the Dude in the old picture? Shakespeare revealed

March 9, 2009

400http-dyimgcom-a-p-ap-20090309-capt51741ffe8582497e9994f49d3afed7a7aptopix_britain_shakespeare_portrait_llp106Imagine having an old oil painting hanging the hall for as long as you could remember or you mom or your grandfather or the oldest person in your family. You’d figure it was someone you were related to, possibly admire the technique, maybe not notice it at all. Then one day you see an image of Shakespeare and you think to yourself, hmmn, looks familiar. Could it be The Bard hanging on my wall all these years? A portrait of Shakespeare himself?

Turns out this is close to the case. The portrait had long been part of the Cobbe collection and owned by the Cobbe family, but it had not been connected to Shakespeare until 2006, when one of the family members saw the Folger Shakespeare painting on display at a traveling exhibition in London and realized the similarity between the two.

“What makes it so important is that it’s a portrait of William Shakespeare made during his lifetime,” said Paul Edmondson, director of learning at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. “We think it was painted in 1610 and several copies of it were made early on, including the engraving. So our portrait is the primary version of one of the greatest portraits of Shakespeare.”

As my friend Ken says, “Celebrity portraits are always in demand.”

In other Shakespearean news, the Museum of London also announced that the foundations of the theater where Shakespeare’s plays were performed, and where he himself performed as an actor, had been found in Hackney on the eastern outskirts of London.

Here’s the original article: The Bard? Portrait said to be Shakespeare unveiled.

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