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First Ever ‘Painted in His Lifetime’ Portrait of William Shakespeare Discovered

Posted: June 1st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: ART, Author, William Shakespeare | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on First Ever ‘Painted in His Lifetime’ Portrait of William Shakespeare Discovered

First ever 'authentic' portrait of Shakespeare found in 16th century botany handbook via reutersA British magazine has published an image of a figure that it says is the first and only known demonstrably authentic portrait of William Shakespeare made in his lifetime.

The picture of a young, bearded man wearing a Roman-style laurel crown and holding an ear of sweetcorn was identified by botanist and historian Mark Griffiths and will be published in Country Life magazine.

Until now, the only accepted authentic likenesses of Shakespeare have been found in the First Folio of his works and his monument at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, both created posthumously.

Previous claims of discoveries of Shakespeare portraits created during his lifetime have been generally disbelieved by scholars, however Country Life editor Mark Hedges is in no doubt of the images authenticity ::::
First ever 'authentic' portrait of Shakespeare found in 16th century botany handbook

Speaking on the magazine website, Mr Griffiths said the discovery had come when he began researching the biography of pioneering botanist John Gerard, author of The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes, published in 1598.

“I began to look at the title page engravings … and realised it was full of allusions to people who had been involved in the creation of the book,” Mr Griffiths said. “And four of the figures on the title page were, in fact, real persons.”

Three of them were Gerard himself, Flemish botanist Rembert Dodoens and Queen Elizabeth’s Lord Treasurer Lord Burghley, Mr Griffiths said. The plants and motifs surrounding them in the engraving appeared to be elaborate Tudor references to the men themselves.

“There was a fourth figure who was dressed as a Roman and appeared to have something to do with poetry,” he added.

Mr Griffiths also discovered a cipher underneath the cover image containing clues about the fourth man.

“As I worked hard on this fourth figure, I realised it had to be William Shakespeare,” Mr Griffiths said.

Mr Griffiths believed in the engraving the Shakespeare figure is 33 years old and at the height of his celebrity, after writing A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet. He believed Shakespeare was given his literary start by Burghley and that he became almost a propagandist for him.

Previous claims of discoveries of Shakespeare portraits created during his lifetime have been generally disbelieved by scholars. But Country Life editor Mark Hedges was in no doubt. He said in a statement “We have a new portrait of Shakespeare, the first ever that is identified as him by the artist and made in his lifetime”.

A Rare copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio Discovered by Librarian in France

A librarian dusting off books for an upcoming exhibition has discovered a rare copy of William Shakespeare’s First Folio in France.

The 400-year-old book, one of the most valuable in the English language, was found by the librarian in Saint-Omer while preparing books for an exhibition about links between the region and England.

One of the books was missing a title page and now an expert has confirmed it is a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, a find that delighted historians and librarians.

It is believed only about 750 copies of the famous compilation of plays were ever printed, as early as 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death.

Only about 230 copies are still known to exist, with some fetching more than $7 million at auction. Despite its value, the library said it had no plans to sell the book.

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Film Review! Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous

Anonymous ★★★★★
Cast: Rhys Ifans, Rafe Spall,
Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson
Director: Roland Emmerich
In Cinemas: Now

In his 1998 survey – Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human – Harold Bloom provides an analysis of each of Shakespeare’s 38 plays, “twenty-four of which are masterpieces.” Written as a companion to the general reader and theatergoer.

Bloom declares that bardolatry ought to be even more  of a secular religion than it already is. Bloom contends in this work that Shakespeare Invented Humanity, in that he prescribed the now common practice ofOverhearing Ourselves, which he says drives our changes.

I’m not suggesting that Roland Emmerich’s latest film – Anonymous – in which the filmmakers introduce an alternative history of the Bard, then promptly sets about dismantling all we think we know, and all we’ve learnt about Shakespeare, is in anyway based on fact, it’s a little more ambiguous in it’s take on possibilities.

If shakespeare had written a 39th play though, Anonymous could very well have been his plot. Critics have been short on praise for Emmerich –the director of Independence Day, Godzilla and The Day After Tomorrow – most squarking that taking on a British period drama was a huge misdemeanor for one of Hollywood’s blockbuster kings :: Read the full article »»»»

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 Winner: Roderick McNicol

National Photographic Portrait PrizeLate artist Margaret Olley, author Tom Keneally and former Art Gallery of New South Wales director Edmund Capon are among the well-known faces captured by photographers for the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 – NPPP 2012. This years winner, Melbourne photographer Roderick McNicol, has scooped the pool with a photo of his mate Jack Charles.

McNicol’s subject has led what is euphemistically called ‘a colourful life’. Part of the stolen generation, Jack Charle has had an extensive, if at times an interrupted career as an actor, working in both theatre and film.

The actor is open about his time spent on the streets, in jail and in the throes of heroin addiction. Parallel to his acting, Jack Charles lived a darker life of drug abuse, crime and internment. Add to this Jack’s revelation and exploration of gayness, offering the viewer a glimpse of this ‘colourful life’

Happy now, with his drug dependency well and truly behind him and his acting career flourishing, Jack is thriving in a new role as mentor to his community. Throughout it all, Jack Charles and Roderick M sustained a decades-long friendship, this win couldn’t have gone to a more fitting pair :: Read the full article »»»»

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source: reuters/afp
source: country.life
image source: reuters/toby.melville

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