Two New Portraits of Shakespeare Found?

We have so few authenticated images of Shakespeare that any report of a new discovery is bound to draw worldwide attention.  Over the last few days I have become aware of not just one, but two of them – one from Shakespeare’s early playwriting career and the other from his days of leisurely retirement.

The First is known as the Wörlitz portrait and features a young man brimming with confidence:

Worlitz Portrait

The second is called the Boaden portrait (featured on the right) and renders a gentleman who has acquired a good measure of comfort and ease:

New Portraits

PHOTO CREDIT: See German link below

There is solid scholarship behind the assertions, coming from Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel, a noted professor of English at Mainz University, Germany.  (That is her seen standing between the two portraits.  For a full recap in German, click HERE.)

She has been on the prowl for authentic images of Shakespeare for over 20 years!  For those seeking more information, her WEBSITE offers much to explore in both German and English.

“I subjected the images to fundamental tests of identity and authenticity, and these revealed that we are dealing with true-to-life portraits of Shakespeare, one from his youth, the second from his old age,” Hammerschmidt-Hummel told Discovery News. (For the full story in English, click HERE.)

With such solid scholarship behind the recent announcements, there is a good likelihood that these two new images will stand the test of time, helping round out a pictorial timeline stretching from Shakespeare’s ambitious early days as a young actor and budding London playwright through his latter luxury as an accomplished gentleman in Stratford.

I will update this site as more information becomes available.


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