Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Shakespeare? I Think Not
Since lots of folks have asked: I'm not sure I buy the newly discovered life portrait of Shakespeare. The subject of the painting looks much younger than the 46 he is if the date assignment of 1610 is correct. It also doesn't jibe well with the other extant portraits, which although posthumous, were agreed to have been good likenesses by Shakespeare's contemporaries. Thos images both portray a balding Bard; this new portrait asks us to believe that he went bald suddenly between his exceedingly outhful age 46 and his death at 52, when his likeness was erected in Holy Trinity Church.
At least one critic agrees with me on other grounds.
Although the "copy" they talk about at the Folger was staring at me while I was waiting in the Founder's Room to go onstage for my book tour appearance there, so that's cool. And I've met Stanley Wells, a very proper British chap indeed. He was kind enough to come and say hello to me when I dropped by the Birthplace Trust offices to do some research... he had seen me perform with the RSC in New York.