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The Changing Face of William Shakespeare

decoration04 Feb. 2011|01 May 2011

In 2009, when the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon unveiled a previously unknown portrait painting with strong claims to be the only surviving life-time portrait of William Shakespeare, it created an international sensation. Recent technical analysis — as well as the portrait's superior quality — has established it as the original of a long series of portraits traditionally identified as Shakespeare. The portrait has significant resemblances in costume and design to Martin Droeshout's engraving of Shakespeare published in the First Folio (1623), and bears a Latin inscription, taken from a poem by Horace, addressed to a playwright. Also on view are the "Ellenborough" portrait of Shakespeare, the privately-owned Fitzgerald portrait of Shakespeare, and a copy of Venus and Adonis, the narrative poem Shakespeare dedicated to his patron, the 3rd Earl of Southampton, in 1593. Works from the Morgan's collection on display in the exhibition include the Morgan's first folio edition of Shakespeare's plays (1623) and a portrait of Shakespeare acquired by Pierpont Morgan in 1910.


04 Feb. 2011|01 May 2011
225 Madison Avenue
New York
The Morgan Library and Museum
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