Shakespeare’s Real Face Essay

Clearly, it is not enough for the reader to have access to and know Shakespearean work alone, there is, after all, the need of finding a face to attach to it. Then again, how is this knowledge of the physical Shakespeare relevant to the History of Literature? How could this knowledge influence Shakespearean own work of art? Or better said, our perception of his art? Once both image (of the author) and his texts are (even hypothetically) at hand, there lingers a hope of finding out, out of the result from such connection (image x text / orator x creation), who exactly that person was who created such things.

These questions are embraced by a general social urge of a person to look at creators in their faces – so to perhaps understand or uncover some other hints of “a little bit more” about these public figures and their arts; something meaningful to themselves as individuals which could perhaps fill a gap and explain “whys” and “wows” and “what else” to be added to the experience lived through that specific piece(s) of art. Attempt to recollect the stages of the discussion around Shakespearean appearance alleging concurrently she had, through her extensive investigation, the poet’s true Face problematic resolved.

In her research, she compares the existing portraits of Shakespeare with each other, namely, the Threshold Engraving, the Funerary Bust in the Church at Stratford-upon-Avon, the Chansons Portrait, the Flower portrait, the Deviant Bust, the Dramatic Death Mask; at first she discusses their authenticity by meaner of a series of complex interdisciplinary investigations; secondly, she draws conclusions upon the results of these investigations which she presents as a new tags on the general Shakespearean appearance matter. Some of these portraits addressed by here are to be briefly presented here in order to better sample the case.

In her conclusion, professor Hildebrand asserts that, after her research, it is possible then to quickly identify any other likely portraits depicting Shakespeare when in comparison to the other true to life portraits she allegedly identified. This essay does not designate any direct agreement or disagreement with these discoveries but rather contains a brief overview and a slight glimpse into the topic in order call attention to how far, and therefore how relevant, the discussion 5 has been and still is to the field of Literature.

The studies around Shakespearean appearance are Jaded with speculation and assumptions given from picture to picture and several conclusions drawn out of “might-have-been”. Scientific investigation suggests dates to support hypothesis and turn them into credible facts (for example: it is possible the oil paint used in the painting X dates back to the year Y when Shakespeare was still alive and so it is a real possibility that the analyses rarity F has been painted from life) and in this manner the writing as well as the re-writing of (Literary) History continually happens. 6 Shakespearean Portraits.

What we want are letters and doctor’s prescriptions and the minutiae of daily life which build up too character A. B. Malta, 1970 He was a handsome well shape man John Aubrey about Shakespeare For a long time in History only two representations of Shakespeare were considered to be genuine and the closest one could get to the poet’s existing likeness. One was the Thresholds engraving from the First Folio from 1623 and the other one was the just in Shakespearean funerary monument in the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-on- Avon, probably erected within six years after Shakespearean death in 1616.

Other possible portraits came to be known later on and among these are for example the Chansons portrait, by John Taylor, dated around 1610 believed by some to be the only one portrait drawn from life and also the newly discovered (about 2006) Cobber portrait. There is however no concrete evidence that William Shakespeare ever of his physical appearance. The Threshold Engraving (1923) The Threshold engraving appeared on the title page f the First Folio, which is the first collected edition of Shakespearean plays ever published in 1623, basically, the printed edition which inaugurated William Shakespeare.

The first folio was entitled ћMr.. William Shakespearean Comedies, Histories & Tragedies”. Shakespearean friend’s fellow actors, John Hemming and Henry Connell, were responsible for editing the collection. This portrait of William Shakespeare was cooper engraved by Martin Threshold and illustrated the first folio for only engravings could be used to illustrate such documents. Threshold’s engraving turned out to be polemic and enigmatic concerning William Shakespearean real identity.

Threshold was in his teens years old by the year Shakespeare died and there is no evidence that they ever met, or that the engraver ever saw a picture of the poet 7 himself. It is likely that Threshold worked on the engraving through description given by Ben Johnson, John Hemming and Henry Connell, who knew Shakespeare personally and were the ones involved with the publication of the First Folio. The engraving is very troublesome in its proportions and strengthens arguments nickering the poets identity and authorship problems.

The following verses ascribed to Ben Johnson are a description of the picture for the folio of 1623: To the Reader. This Figure, that thou here sets put, It was for gentle Shakespeare cut; Wherein the Grader had a strife with Nature, to out-do the life: O, could he but hue drawn his wit As well in brasses, as he hath hit His face; the Print would then surpasses All, that was rue writ in brasses. But, since he cannot, Reader, looked Not on his Picture, but his Books. 8. 1.

To this, Lawrence, in his certainty that Shakespearean true identity was Bacon, writes translation stating that the picture is a fares and represents someone behind a mask who could not possibly be Shakespeare: 2 Sir Edwin During-Lawrence. Advocate of the Bacon theory of Shakespeare authorship (attributed to Francis Bacon. ) 8 To the Reader. The dummy that thou sets set here, Was put instead of Shake-a- spears; Wherein the Graver had a strife To extinguish all of Nature’s life; O, could he but have drawn his mind As well as he’s concealed behind His face; the Print would then surpasses All, that was ever writ in brasses.

But since he cannot, do not looked On his mamas Picture, but his Books. This refers to Shakespearean memorial, containing a colored limestone bust, in the Holy Trinity Church at Stratford-upon-Avon, Warehousing in the United Kingdom, which must have been sculptured within six years after the poet’s death. The bust was done by Gerard Johnson sometime before 1623 (the year Johnson died) and accordingly must have been seen by Shakespearean widow (Anne Shakespeare) .

The monument has been restored and repainted many times there after and so Professor Hummer: it ћaccurately represents the playwright’s appearance, leaving aside the damage and repairs it has undergone over the course of history’. Just like the Threshold engraving, the monument has been criticized as a bad representation of the poet: ћThe Stratford bust may not be above the average in excellence of its kind in its day. The Stratford bust may not be a good resemblance of the bard.

But this, with the Threshold engraving, provides the only likeness of William 9 Shakespeare to exist”3 or as J. Dover Wilson states it resembles somewhat a ћself- satisfied poor butcher. “4 Chansons Portrait, by John Taylor It belonged to the Duke of Chansons and believed to be painted sometime between 1600 and 1610, when Shakespeare was still alive. The Chansons portrait is considered to be the most attractive of William Shakespearean pictures, oil on canvas measuring 55. 2 x 43. 8, a perfectly authentic English portrait painting of its period. According to Sir Roy Strong, a former director of the National Portrait Gallery. Property of Britain’s National Portrait Gallery nowadays, and is regarded among the most important and best guarded treasures of England 5. It has also suffered under the rage of time and restoration. According to Virtue (from the entries in the Notebooks 1719 of the English antiquary George Virtue) the picture as painted by an actor from Shakespearean days called John Taylor, who apparently was close to the poet himself.

Professor Hummel halts this an unlikely true event since the one person who could be addressed as John Taylor was twenty two years younger than Shakespeare. On top of that, there is however no John Taylor registered as an actor from that time, but a Joseph Taylor (1586 – 1653), a name which also appears in the first Folio as one of ћthe principal actors in all these plays” The Cobber portrait The Cobber portrait has been admitted as a possible depiction of Shakespeare but also quickly dismissed as such.

It is a panel painting showing a sophisticated man, attributed to be Shakespeare be cause it was owned by the Cobber family and apparently commissioned by the 3rd Earl of Southampton, Shakespearean Patron, and copies of this portrait had been previously given as representing Shakespeare (The Janssen portrait, for example, which has been considered to depict Shakespeare). The Cobber portrait also has an inscription from Horace, which is a classical quotation actually addressed to a playwright (,Principia mastitis’ / the alliances of princes! And it does bear a certain similarity to Droughts engraving. The Panel of English oak the portrait was painted on 3 B. Roland Lewis quoted in The True Face of William Graham Holders, Univac of Worcestershire Press, 2001, page 152. 5 Hemstitched-Hummel, Hildebrand: The True Face of William Shakespeare (p. 25) 10 can be dated back to after 1595 and the collar the sitting man is wearing can be a suggestion of a date around 1610.

The portrait has been famously centered in two dedicated exhibitions: Shakespeare Found: a Life Portrait at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon (April to October 2009) and The Changing Face f William Shakespeare at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York (February to May 2011). Professor Hildebrand Hummel nevertheless refutes the claim that the portrait is a depiction of Shakespeare from real life, based on her own investigation when comparing and finding discrepancies between the Cobber with the Janssen portraits as well as with the Threshold’s engraving.

The relevance of Shakespearean appearance to the History of Literature As a matter of fact, the face of a man gives us a fuller and more interesting information than his tongue; for his face is the compendium of all he will ever say, as t is the one record of all his thoughts and endeavourers. Religion, A Dialogue: Physiognomy – Arthur Schopenhauer To decipher Shakespearean face developed into into a sort of special task in the course of the History of Literature.

Not only Shakespeare is a central figure to this History but also, his physiognomy has been thoroughly investigated as mentioned before, finally written about and published in the form of essays, books, websites, therefore generating Literature. Achieving, more than that, interdisciplinary Literature which reaches out for a variety of public: the ones concerned with History f Painting and Art; History of Literature; or simply curious Shakespeare lovers and followers. To name two examples: ћTwo ћNeW’ Seventeenth-Century Portraits of Shakespeare written by Jackson C.

Boswell was published by Folder Shakespeare Library in 2006 develops a discourse upon the discovery of ћtwo new’ portraits. It recalls the importance of the ћold” portraits. It is an essential part in Shakespeare Quarterly, the world’s foremost journal with focus on all aspects of Shakespeare studies. It is classic- 6 Folder Shakespeare Library is the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare trials and a world-renown- Ned research center on Shakespeare, located on Capital Hill in Washington, DC. 1 fled by Stator’s collections into ћArt & Sciences” ћFor-Profit Academic Arts & Sciences”, ћProfit Academic Language & Literature” and ћLanguage & Literature”: painted, three more or less authentic representations of Shakespeare from the seventeenth century dominate the modern consciousness of what he looked like: the Chansons portrait, the Threshold engraving that embellished the First Folio, and the portrait bust by Gerhard Jansen found in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford.

Two “new,” other-unknown portraits of Shakespeare are found listed in catalogues of fine art collections that were put up for auction in London in 1690 and 1691. The first of these portraits is described as having been painted from the life and identifies the subject as a poet. The other depicts Shakespearean head and Fame with a trumpet. Although these portraits have apparently dropped out of sight, the evidence at hand suggests that Shakespeare may indeed have posed for his portrait to be painted, possibly more than once. Shakespearean Face: Unraveling the Legend and History of Shakespearean Mysterious Portrait by Stephanie Nolan and published by Free Press, Canada 2004 takes off from the discovery of the Sanders portrait, named after John Sanders, an actor in Shakespearean company. The book unleashes again the discussion of how Shakespeare looked like as well as the authenticity of the known poor traits. Nolan points out to the efforts of authenticating a painting and explains into details the forensic science required in the processes.

Skeptical perspectives from other Shakespeare scholars are taken into consideration and the book is, according to reader’s reviews, entertaining and educational at the same time. The tendency of this book, according to general review and critic, is to satisfy the common reader with interest in Shakespeare, yet, eventually, it will not be taken too seriously by scholars: ћ(… ) an entertaining, amusing, and unreliable book. “8 7 Copyright Folder Shakespeare Library 0. 8 Review from ћShakespearean Face: Is This the Face of a Genius?

Knops Canada; First Edition edition Lully 2, 2002) 12 The thematic has been increasingly highlighted through the internet and any website concerned with Shakespearean life and art will have a thorough section counting for the poet’s appearance. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (http:// www. Shakespeare. Org) – the leading charity that promotes the work, life and times of Shakespeare; William Shakespeare, the complete works by Linda Alicia (http:// www. William-Shakespeare. Info); No Sweat Shakespeare, Shakespeare resources, sonnet translations & study guides online (http://www. Stratosphere’s. Com) and the Folder Shakespeare Library – Advancing Knowledge and Art – online (http:// www. Folder. Du/) are very rich representative online sources on the theme. The urge which drives scholars through this sort of research might be as well as mysterious as Shakespearean appearance itself or as obvious as the difficulty of finding a true to life portrait after so many years after his death. A peculiar expectation concerning psychogenic-discourse and encouraging scientific attempts of coming close to what might have been reality.

With the passing and changing of time, those general wishes underlining and constructing the mindset of a generation has influenced, from period to period the reception and, likewise, the methodic search for the lost face of his genius. This meaner that the face which is found, must be coherent to that face one (sometimes even unconsciously) wants to see and this dynamic requires an orderly congruence to all that has been expected throughout time of ћphysically being Shakespeare”, the form of a man ideologically assembled to own his timeless masterpieces left to the history of literature.

The fact that the two portraits, which are likely to be the ones with more likelihood to Shakespeare, Throughout and the Bust, are also criticized as not being suitable to portray the poet, reflects the problematic f expectancy hovering the desire for accurate knowledge and augments the difficulty in finding William Shakespearean true face. To look into someone’s face is a search into finding one’s own mirrored in foreign eyes 9.

The dissatisfaction with current Shakespearean portraits might have therefore its reasons not only in the lack of scientific proof but as well in the lack of a representation of Shakespeare which can stand up to the level of his creation according to the expectation of a certain social (or even literary? ) mindset. It seems to be hard to believe that the greatest Ritter of the world must have looked Just like that”: 9 Reference to Otherness/ Tethering or the Constitutive Other concept in continental philosophy and psychology 13 Shakespeare is still ћgentle” in the caption to Martin Threshold’s engraving, which appeasing bares as frontispiece.

The picture has never been greatly liked. Lord Brain, the scientist, says that it has two right eyes. The Tailor and Cutter observed that the coat has two left sides. The face is the face of a commercial traveler growing bald in the service of an ungrateful firm. If it ever appeared, the back-hair suitably cropped, tit a decent suffuse suit below it, in the saloon bar off Stratford pub, it would be hardly noticed. We need not repine at the lack of satisfactory Shakespeare portrait.

To see his face, we need only look in a mirror. He is ourselves, ordinary suffering humanity, fired by moderate ambitions, concerned with money, the victim of desire, all too mortal. To his back, like a hump, was strapped a miraculous but somehow irrelevant talent. It is a talent which more than any other that the world has seen, reconciles us to being human beings, unsatisfactory hybrids, not good enough for gods and not good enough for animals. We are all Will. Shakespeare is the name of one of our redeemers. 0 Personality researchers 1 propose that the development of personality is affected by physical appearance since what is physically seen in a person is a major factor that will constitute opinion, influencing inevitably responses to that person. Conversely, there is a tendency of one to fulfill the expectations believed others have for them – a cause-and-effect situation. In Shakespearean case, he is no longer alive and has left a scholars and researchers themselves.

People do know the product that comes out of is personality but since no one can have a full glimpse onto this personality the search for the real picture reassures the possible consolidation of the person he was. It is especially difficult to ignore Shakespeare – him being ћwho he was” and having made himself so largely famous as he did. 10 BURGESS, Anthony. ћShakespeare” Jonathan Cape Ltd, London, 1970. 11 Personality research (personifications. Org) Sinology – a very brief overview The words “sinology’ and “iconography’ are often confused, and they have never been given definitions accepted by all oceanographers and cosmologist.

Pompanos 1955 defined “iconography’ as the study of subject matter in the visual arts and “sinology’ as an attempt to analyses the significance of that subject matter within the culture that produced it. 12 Thoroughly, Sinology is an important field of Art History which focus on investigating the content of images, that is to say identifying, describing and, among others, interpreting what is in them. It is also applied in other fields of study such as Semiotics, anthropology, sociology, media studies and cultural studies.

Sinology plays an important role in Literature in which concerns the imagery (monuments / sculptures / memorials) related to living and dead writers. – be it to pay a homage or to celebrate a writer’s birth town or help to increase tourism, for example. Statues have been raised and paintings as well as photographs of great names in the History of Lit ratter have been printed out in many formats such as postcards, posters, pictures to decorate key holders and mugs among others, etc.

To have a face attributed behind their master pieces is therefore not only a special feature for Shakespeare lovers but it does indeed belong to the whole Literary world as well, irking the cities and places where they have lived, been, written at, cherishing thereupon the whole identity construction (of both place and person being represented) as well as literary History. 12 Sinology and Iconography according to Oxford Bibliographies (by DRP.

Paul Taylor) 15 Conclusion The ongoing endeavourer which allies physiognomies and the mystery of Shakespearean portraits evidently sustain that there is a certain ћsomething else” to be learned about a piece of art through the visualization of its author. As previously discussed, Shakespearean appearance mystery is still somewhat unresolved yet it has been alluding up an important discourse at interdisciplinary level to the History of both Shakespearean and general Literature, not to mention Comparative Literature. Importance of authors and even authorship, which, like in Shakespearean case, can be questioned due to the lack of authentic proof that the person really existed. ћWho was Shakespeare? ” cannot be fully answered solely through the knowledge of his sonnets and plays, Shakespeare remains a sort of God-like ghost as long as a satisfying authentic picture of the man himself is found to be placed upon the blank ND finally constitute his face.

The methodology with which this research on Shakespearean appearance has been carried on is, as previously mentioned, via a series of comparisons from portrait to portrait, with main focus on the investigation of their authenticity, like in many cases – and especially professor Hummer’s case, by meaner of forensic science – an attempt to trail hard facts out of assumptions.

The last scroll through Sinology was intended to briefly show how the matter of image has been connected in a way or another with the writing tradition and how it is modeled ND remodeled, sometimes in the form of a sophisticated statue and other times as a tiny item to be sold at souvenir shops, through the different decades and societies – just as the quest for Shakespearean face also does (sometimes as a subject for an essay, or short story in a weapon and. There times, complex scientific research subject). Last but not least, the matters exposed through this essay meant to characterize a good overview on how this thematic has made itself evident, keeps receiving attention and is therefore pertinent to the historical writing and re-writing f Literature. Threshold’s engraving 17 Chansons Portrait, by John Taylor 18 Shakespearean Funerary Monument in the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon 19 20 Bibliography Rogers, Byron. The young, red-haired man in the cupboard. ” Spectator 29 Mar. 2003: 44+. World History In Context. Web. 10 Par. 2013. Kahn, Jeffrey. “Is the Sanders portrait genuine? ” Shakespeare Newsletter Winter 2001: 81+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 10 Par. 2013. Burgess, Anthony. ћShakespeare” Jonathan Cape Ltd, London, 1970. Barman, Norte 1953- : Skunks undid Physiognomies Schubert, Nina