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Shakespeare grave effigy is a definitive likeness

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Posted (edited)

Until recently, there were only two definitive portraits of the playwright widely regarded to be the greatest writer in the English language and both were thought to have been painted posthumously.

Art critics have even argued that the most famous – the Cobbe portrait – was more likely to have been a painting of courtier Sir Thomas Overbury, not the Bard at all.

But now it seems the mystery has been solved. A groundbreaking discovery means we finally know at least how Shakespeare wanted to be seen.

Full monty at the Guardian: Link

At the UK Mail: Link

You can also see it here: Wikipedia

Edited by Eldorado
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Claims (from the Guardian article):

"Bust in Holy Trinity church was modelled by tomb-maker Nicholas Johnson, research finds"

"A groundbreaking discovery means we finally know... "

"new research has found that the bust was in fact modelled from life"


Supporting evidence to justify those claims (also from the Guardian article):

"It is highly likely that Shakespeare commissioned the monument."

"Orlin’s evidence now attributes the bust to a sculptor “other than we’ve been given to understand”..."

"Orlin believes... "


I'm not saying she's wrong, I'm not saying she's right.  I'm sure it's a scholarly article, one that's carefully researched and thoughtfully presented.  I just object to sensational claims in headlines, only to find the facts in the article appear rather theoretical/speculative.  And IMO, based on literally minutes spent on Google, and with precisely zero expertise in these matters, I don't think the Holy Trinity bust is anything like the quality of works we believe are by Nicholas Johnson working with/for his father Gerald.  

The current wisdom attributing the bust to Gerald Johnson the Younger dates from 1656, but the book it's in is 800+ pages of small print and it might take me a while to find the precise reference.

https://archive.org/details/antiquitiesofwar00dugd/mode/2up.  I'd never heard of Sir William Dugdale 20 minutes ago so I'll defer to any contributor who thinks they can comment on his authenticity and reliability.


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That's his cousin, Willard.

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