1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Shakespeare, William/The Portraits of Shakespeare
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- Shakespeare, William The Portraits of Shakespeare
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The Portraits of Shakespeare
The mystery that surrounds much in the life and work of Shakespeare extends also to his portraiture. The fact that the only two likenesses of the poet that can be regarded as carrying the authority of his co-workers, his friends, and relations — yet neither of them a life-portrait — differ in certain essential points, has opened the door to controversy and encouraged the advance and acceptance of numerous wholly different types. The result has been a swarm of portraits which may be classed as follows: (1) the genuine portraits of persons not Shakespeare but not unlike the various conceptions of him; (2) memorial portraits often based on one or other of accepted originals, whether those originals are worthy of acceptance or not; (3) portraits of persons known or unknown, which have been fraudulently “faked” into a resemblance of Shakespeare; and (4) spurious fabrications especially manufactured for imposition upon the public, whether with or without mercenary motive. It is curious that some of the crudest and most easily demonstrable frauds have been among those which have from time to time been, and still are, most eagerly accepted and most ardently championed. There are few subjects which have so imposed upon the credulous, especially those whose intelligence might be supposed proof against the chicanery practised upon them. Thus, in the past, a president of the Royal Academy in England, and many of the leading artists and Shakespearian students of the time, were found to support the genuineness, as a contemporary portrait of the poet, of a picture which, in its faked Shakespeare state, a few months before was not even in existence. This, at least, proves the intense interest taken by the world in the personality of Shakespeare, and the almost passionate desire to know his features. It is desirable, therefore, to describe those portraits which have chief claim to recollection by reason either of their inherent interest or of the notoriety which they have at some time enjoyed; it is to be remarked that such notoriety once achieved never entirely dies away, if only because the art of the engraver, which has usually perpetuated them either as large plates, or as illustrations to reputable editions of the works, or to commentaries or biographies, sustains their undeserved credit as likenesses more or less authentic.
Exhaustive study of the subject, extended over a series of years, has brought the present writer to the conclusion — identical with that entertained by leading Shakespearian authorities — that two portraits only can be accepted without question as authentic likenesses: the bust (really a half-length statue) with its structural wall-monument in the choir of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-on-Avon, and the copper-plate engraved by Martin Droeshout as frontispiece to the First Folio of Shakespeare's works (and used for three subsequent issues) published in 1623, although first printed in the previous year.
The Stratford bust and monument must have been erected on the N. wall of the chancel or choir within six years after Shakespeare's death in 1616, as it is mentioned in the prefatory memorial lines by Leonard Digges in the First Folio. The design in its general aspect was one often adopted by the “tombe-makers” of the period, though not originated by them, and according to Dugdale was executed by a Fleming resident in London since 1567, Garratt Johnson (Gerard Janssen), a denizen, who was occasionally a collaborator with Nicholas Stone. The bust is believed to have been commissioned by the poet's son-in-law, Dr John Hall, and, like the Droeshout print, must have been seen by and likely enough had the approval of Mrs Shakespeare, who did not die until August 1623. It is thought to have been modelled from either a life or death mask, and inartistic as it is has the marks of facial individuality; that is to say, it is a portrait and not a generalization such as was common in funereal sculpture. According to the practice of the day, especially at the hands of Flemish sculptors of memorial figures, the bust was coloured; this is sufficient to account for the technical summariness of the modelling and of the forms. Thus the eyebrows are scarcely more than indicated by the chisel, and a solid surface represents the teeth of the open mouth; the brush was evoked to supply effect and detail. To the colour, as reapplied after the removal of the white paint with which Malone had the bust covered in 1793, must be attributed a good deal of the wooden appearance which is now a shock to many. The bust is of soft stone (not alabaster, as incorrectly stated by “the accurate Dugdale”), but a careful examination of the work reveals no sign of the alleged breakage and restoration or reparation to which some writers have attributed the apparently inordinate length of the upper lip. As a matter of fact the lip is not long; it is less than seven-eighths of an inch: the appearance is to a great extent an optical illusion, the result partly of the smallness of the nose and, especially, of the thinness of the moustache that shows the flesh above and below. Some repair was made to the monument in 1649, and again in 1748, but there is no mention in the church records of any meddling with the bust itself. Owing, however, to the characteristic inaccuracy of the print by one of Hollars' assistants in the illustration of Dugdale's Antiquities of Warwickshire (p. 688), the first edition of which was published in 1656, certain writers have been misled into the belief that the whole monument and bust were not merely restored but replaced by those which we see to-day. As other prints in the volume depart grossly from the objects represented, and as Dugdale, like Vertue (whose punctilious accuracy has also been baselessly extolled by Walpole), was at times demonstrably loose in his descriptions and presentments, there is no reason to believe that the bust and the figures above it are other than those originally placed in position. Other engravers, following the Dugdale print, have further stultified the original, but as they (Vertue, Grignion, Foudrinier, and others) differ among themselves, little importance need be attached to the circumstance. A warning should be uttered against many of the so-called “casts” of the busts. George Bullock took a cast in 1814 and Signer A. Michele another about forty years after, but those attributed to W. R. Kite, W. Scoular, and others, are really copies, departing from the original in important details as well as in general effect. It is from these that many persons derive incorrect impressions of the bust itself.
Mention should here be made of the “Kesselstadt Death Mask,” now at Darmstadt, as that has been claimed as the true death-mask of Shakespeare, and by it the authenticity of other portraits has been gauged. It is not in fact a death-mask at all, but a cast from one and probably not even a direct cast. In three places on the back of it is the inscription +AˆDm1616: and this is the sole actual link with Shakespeare. Among the many rapturous adherents of the theory was William Page, the American painter, who made many measurements of the mask and found that nearly half of them agreed with those of the Stratford bust; the greater number which do not he conveniently attributed to error in the sculptor. The cast first came to light in 1849, having been searched for by Dr. Ludwig Becker, the owner of a miniature in oil or parchment representing a corpse crowned with a wreath, lying in bed, while on the background, next to a burning candle, is the date — Ao 1637. This little picture was by tradition asserted to be Shakespeare, although the likeness, the death-date, and the wreath all point unmistakably to the poet-laureate Ben Jonson. Dr Becker had purchased it at the death-sale at Mainz of Count Kesselstadt in 1847, in which also “a plaster of Paris cast” (with no suggestion of Shakespeare then attached to it) had appeared. This he found in a broker's rag-shop, assumed it to be the same, recognized in it a resemblance to the picture (which most persons cannot see) and so came to attribute to it the enormous historical value which it would, were his hypothesis correct, unquestionably possess. In searching for the link of evidence necessary to be established, through the Kesselstadt line to England and Shakespeare, a theory has been elaborated, but nothing has been proved or carried beyond the point of bare conjecture. The arguments against the authenticity of the cast are strong and cogent — the chief of which is the fact that the skull reproduced is fundamentally of a different form and type from that shown in the Droeshout print — the forehead is receding instead of upright. Other important divergencies occur. The handsome, refined, and pleasing aspect of the mask accounts for much of the favour in which it has been held. It was believed in by Sir Richard Owen and was long on view in the British Museum, and was shown in the Stratford Centenary Exhibition in 1864.
The “Droeshout print” derives its importance from its having been executed at the order of Heminge and Condell to represent, as a frontispiece to the Plays, and put forth as his portrait, the man and friend to whose memory they paid the homage of their risky enterprise. The volume was to be his real monument, and the work was regarded by them as a memorial erected in a spirit of love, piety, and veneration. Mrs Shakespeare must have seen the print; Ben Jonson extolled it. His dedicatory verses, however, must be regarded in the light of conventional approval as commonly expressed in that age of the performances of portrait-engravers and habitually inscribed beneath them. It is obvious, therefore, that in the circumstances an authentic portrait must necessarily have been the basis of the engraving; and Sir George Scharf, judging from the contradictory lights and shadows in the head, concluded that the original must have been a limning — more or less an outline drawing — which the youthful engraver was required to put into chiaroscuro, achieving his task with but very partial success. That this is the case is proved by the so-called “unique proof” discovered by Halliwell-Phillips, and now in America. Another copy of it, also an early proof but not in quite the same “state,” is in the Bodleian Library. No other example is known. In this plate the head is far more human. The nose is here longer than in the bust, but the bony structure corresponds. In the proof, moreover, there is a thin, wiry moustache, much widened in the print as used; and in several other details there are important divergencies. In this engraving by Droeshout the head is far too large for the body, and the dress — the costume of well-to-do persons of the time — is absurdly out of perspective: an additional argument that the unpractised engraver had only a drawing of a head to work from, for while the head shows the individuality of portraiture the body is as clearly done de chic. The first proof is conclusive evidence against the contention that the “Flower Portrait” at the Shakespeare Memorial Museum, Stratford-on-Avon — the gift of Mrs Charles Flower (1895) and boldly entitled the “Droeshout original” — is the original painting from which the engraving was made, and is therefore the actual life-portrait for which Shakespeare sat. This view was entertained by many connoisseurs of repute until it was pointed out that had that been the case the first proof, if it had been engraved from it, would have resembled it in all particulars, for the engraver would have merely copied the picture before him. Instead of that, we find that several details in the proof — the incorrect illumination, the small moustache, the shape of the eyebrow and of the deformed ear, &c. — have been corrected in the painting, in which further improvements are also imported. The conclusion is therefore irresistible. At the same time the picture may possibly be the earliest painted portrait in existence of the poet, for so far as we can judge of it in its present condition — (it was to some extent injured by fire at the Alexandra Palace) — it was probably executed in the earlier half of the 17th century. The inscription — Willn Shakespeare, 1609 — is suspect on account of being written in cursive script, the only known example at the date to which it professes to belong. If it were authentic it might be taken as showing us Shakespeare's appearance seven years before his death, and fourteen years before the publication of the Droeshout print. The former attribution of it to Cornelis Janssen's brush has been abandoned — it is the work of a comparatively unskilful craftsman. The picture's pedigree cannot definitely be traced far back, but that is of little importance, as plausible pedigrees have often been manufactured to bolster up the most obvious impostures. The most interesting of the copies or adaptations of this portrait is perhaps that by William Blake now in the Manchester Corporation Art Gallery. One of the cleverest imitations, if such it be, of an old picture is the “Buttery” or “Ellis portrait,” acquired by an American collector in 1902. This small picture, on panel, is very poor judged as a work of art, but it has all the appearance of age. In this case the perspective of the dress has been corrected, and Shakespeare's shield is shown on the background. The head is that of a middle-aged man; the moustache, contrary to the usual type, is drooping. It is curious that the “Thurston miniature” done from the Droeshout print gives the moustache of the “proof.” Two other portraits of the same character of head and arrangement are the “Ely Palace portrait” and the “Felton portrait,” both of which in their time have had, and still have, convinced believers. The “Ely Palace portrait” was discovered in 1845 in a broker's shop, and was bought by Thomas Turton, bishop of Ely, who died in 1864, when it was bought by Henry Graves and by him was presented to the Birthplace. An unsatisfactory statement of its history, similar to that of many other portraits, was put forth; the picture must be judged on its merits. It bears the inscription “Æ 39 + 1603,” and it shows a moustache and a right eyebrow identical with those in the Droeshout “proof.” It was therefore hailed by many competent judges as the original of the print; by others it was dismissed as a “make-up”; at the same time it is very far from being a proved fraud. Supposing both it and the “Flower portrait” to be genuine, this picture, which came to light long before the latter, antedates it by six years. Judged by the test of the Droeshout “proof” it must have preceded and not followed it. The “Felton portrait,” which made its first appearance in 1792, had the valiant championship of the astute and cynical Steevens, of Britton, Drake, and other authorities, as the original of the Droeshout print, while a few — those who believed in the “Chandos portrait” — denounced it as “a rank forgery.” On the back of the panel was boldly traced in a florid hand “Gul. Shakespear 1597 R.B.” (by others read “R.N.”). If R.B. is correct, it is contended the initials indicate Richard Burbage, Shakespeare's fellow-actor. Traces of the writing may still be detected. Boaden's copy, made in 1792, repeating the inscription on the back, has “Guil. Shakspeare 1587 R.N.” The spelling of Shakespeare's name — which in succeeding ages has been governed by contemporary fashion — has a distinct bearing on the authenticity of the panel. At the first appearance of the “Felton portrait” in a London sale-room it was bought by Samuel Felton of Drayton, Shropshire, for five pounds, along with a pedigree which carried its refutation along with it. Nevertheless, it bears evidence of being an honest painting done from life, and is probably not a make-up in the sense that most of the others are. It fell into the hands of Richardson the printseller, who issued fraudulent engravings of it by Trotter and others (by which it is best known), causing the characteristic lines of the shoulders to be altered, so that it is set upon a body attired in the Droeshout costume, which does not appear in the picture; and then, arguing from this falsely-introduced costume, the publisher maintained that the work was the original of the Droeshout print and therefore a life-portrait of Shakespeare. Thus foisted on the public it enjoyed for years a great reputation, and no one seems to have recognized that with its down-turned moustache it agrees with the inaccurate print after the Droeshout engraving which was published as frontispiece to Ayscough's edition of Shakespeare in 1790, i.e. two years before the discovery of the Felton portrait! The “Napier portrait,” as the excellent copy by John Boaden is known, has recently been presented to the Shakespeare Memorial. Josiah Boydell also made a copy of the picture for George Steevens in 1797. Quite a number of capital miniatures from it are in existence. With these should be mentioned a picture of a similar type discovered by Mr M. H. Spielmann in 1905. Finding a wretched copy of the Chandos portrait executed on a panel about three hundred years old, he had the century-old paint cleaned off in order to ascertain the method of the forger. On the disappearance of the Chandos likeness under the action of the spirit another portrait of Shakespeare was found beneath, irretrievably damaged but obviously painted in the 17th century. At the time of the “fake” only portraits of the Chandos type were saleable, and this would account for the wanton destruction of an interesting work which was probably executed for a publisher — likely enough for Jacob Tonson — but not used. Early as it is in date it can make no claim to be a life-portrait.
The “Janssen” or “Somerset portrait” is in many respects the most interesting painted likeness of Shakespeare, and undoubtedly the finest of all the paintings in the series. It is certainly a genuine as well as a very beautiful picture of the period, and bears the inscription —
— but doubt has been expressed whether the 6 of 46 has not been tampered with, and whether it was not originally an o and altered to fit Shakespeare's age. It was made known through Earlom's rare mezzotint of it, but the public knowledge of it has been mainly founded on Cooper's and Turner's beautiful but misleading mezzotint plates until a photograph of the original was published for the first time in 1909 (in The Connoisseur) by permission of the owner, the Lady Guendolen Ramsden, daughter of the duke of Somerset, the former owner of the picture. The resemblance to the main forms of the death-mask is undoubted; but that is of little consequence as confirmation unless the mask itself is supported by something beyond vague conjectures. Charles Jennens, the wealthy and eccentric amateur editor of the poor edition of King Lear issued in 1770, was the first known owner, but vouchsafed no information of its source and shrank from the challenge to produce the picture. Of the beauty, excellence, and originality of this portrait there is no question; it is more than likely that Janssen was the author of it; but that it was intended to represent Shakespeare is still to be proved. A number of good copies of it exist, all but one (which enjoys a longer pedigree) made in the 18th century: the “Croker Janssen” now lost, unless it be that of Lord Darnley's; the “Staunton Janssen,” the “Buckston Janssen,” the “Marsden Janssen,” and the copy in the possession of the duke of Anhalt. These are all above the average merit of such work.
The portrait which has made the most popular appeal is that called the “Chandos,” formerly known as the “d'Avenant,” the “Stowe,” and the “Ellesmere,” according as it passed from hand to hand; it is now in the National Portrait Gallery. Tradition, tainted at the outset, attributes the authorship of it to Richard Burbage, although it is impossible that the painter of the head in the Dulwich Gallery could have produced a work so good in technique; and Burbage is alleged to have given it to his fellow-actor Joseph Taylor, who bequeathed it to Sir William d'Avenant, Shakespeare's godson. As a matter of fact, Taylor died intestate. Thenceforward, whether or not it belonged to d'Avenant, its history is clear. At the great Stowe sale of the effects of the duke of Buckingham and Chandos (who had inherited it) the earl of Ellesmere bought it and then presented it to the nation. Many serious inquirers have refused to accept this romantic, swarthy, Italian-looking head here depicted as a likeness of Shakespeare of the Midlands, if only because in every important physiognomical particular, and in face-measurement, it is contradicted by the Stratford bust and the Droeshout print. It is to be noted, however, that judged by the earlier copies of it — which agree in the main points — some of the swarthiness complained of may be due to the restorer. Oldys, indifferent to tradition, attributed it to Janssen, an unallowable ascription. This, except the “Lumley portrait,” the “Burdett Coutts portrait,” and the admitted fraud, the “Dunford portrait,” is the only picture of Shakespeare executed before the end of the 18th century which represents the poet with earrings — the wearing of which, it should be noted, either simple gold circles or decorated with jewel-drops, was a fashion that extended over two centuries, in England mainly, if not entirely, affected by nobles and exquisites. Contrary to the general belief, the picture has not been subjected to very extensive repair. That it was not radically altered by the restorer is proved by the fine copy painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller, and by him presented to John Dryden. The poet acknowledged the gift in his celebrated Fourteenth Epistle, written after 1691 and published in 1694, and containing the passage beginning, “Shakespeare, thy gift, I place before my sight; With awe I ask his blessing ere I write.” D'Avenant had died in 1668, and so could not, as tradition contends was the case, have been the donor. In Malone's time the picture was already in the possession of the earl Fitzwilliam. This at least proves the esteem in which the Chandos portrait was held so far back as the end of the 17th century, only three-quarters of a century after Shakespeare's death.
From among the innumerable copies and adaptations of the Chandos portrait a few emerge as having a certain importance of their own. That which Sir Joshua Reynolds is traditionally said to have made for the use of Roubiliac, then engaged in his statue of Shakespeare for David Garrick (now in the British Museum), and another alleged to have been done for Bishop Newton, are now lost. That by Ranelagh Barret was presented in 1779 to Trinity College Library, Cambridge, by the Shakespearian commentator Edward Capell. Dr Matthew Maty, principal librarian of the British Museum, presented his copy to the museum in 1760. There are also the smooth but rather original copy (with drapery added) belonging to the earl of Bath at Longleat; the Warwick Castle copy; the fair copy known as the Lord St Leonards portrait; the large copy in coloured crayons, formerly in the Jennens collection and now belonging to Lord Howe, by van der Gucht, which seems to be by the same hand as that which executed the pastel portrait of Chaucer in the Bodleian Library; the “Clopton miniature” attributed to John Michael Wright, which formed the basis of the drawing by Arlaud, by whose name the engravings of this modified type are usually known; the Shakespeare Hirst picture, based on Houbraken's engraving; the full-size chalk drawing by Ozias Humphry, R.A., at the Birthplace, which Malone guaranteed to be a perfect transcript, but which more resembles the late W. P. Frith, R.A., than Shakespeare. Humphry also, adhering to his modified type, executed three beautiful but inaccurate miniatures from the picture, one of which is in the Garrick Club, and the others in private hands.
The “Lumley portrait” is in type a curious blend of the faces in the Chandos portrait and the Droeshout print, with a dash of the “Auriol miniature” (see later). It represents a heavy-jowled man with pursed-up lips, and with something of the expression but little of the vitality of the Chandos. Although it is thought to be indicated though not actually mentioned in the Lumley sale catalogues of 1785 and 1807, it was only when it came into the possession of George Rippon, presumably about the year 1848, that it was brought to the notice of the world, and additional attention was secured by the owner's contention that it was the original of the Chandos. It is claimed that the picture originally belonged to the portrait collector John, Lord Lumley, of Lumley castle, Durham, who died in 1609, and descended to Richard, the 4th earl of Scarborough, and George Augustus, the 5th earl, at whose respective sales at the dates mentioned it was put up to auction. On the first occasion it was bought in, and on the second it was acquired by George Walters. It is to be observed, however, that it does not appear by name in the early inventory, and it is unconvincingly claimed that it was mistakenly entered as Chaucer, a portrait of whom is mentioned. When in the possession of George Rippon the picture was so superbly chromo-lithographed by Vincent Brooks that copies of it, mounted on old panel or canvas, and varnished, have often changed hands as original paintings. It is clear that if the picture was indeed in possession of John, Lord Lumley, we have here a contemporary portrait of Shakespeare, and the fact that it is an amateur performance would in no way invalidate the claim. It is thinly painted and scarcely looks the age that is claimed for it; but it is an interesting work, which, in 1875, entered the collection of the late Baroness Burdett-Coutts.
To Frederigo Zuccaro are attributed three of the more important portraits now to be mentioned; upon him also have been foisted several of the more impudent fabrications herein named. The “Bath” or “Archer portrait” — it having been in the possession of the Bath Librarian, Archer, when attention was first drawn to it in 1859 — is worthy of Zuccaro's brush. It is Italian in feeling, with an inscription (“W. Shakespear”) in an Italian but apparently more modern hand. The type of head, too, is Italian, and it is curious that in certain respects it bears some resemblance not only to the Chandos, and to the Droeshout and Janssen portraits, but also to the “death-mask”; yet it differs in essentials from all. Certain writers have affirmed that Reynolds in one of his Discourses expressed his faith in the picture; but the alleged passage cannot be identified. This eloquent, refined, and well-bred head suggests an Italian noble, or, if an English poet, a man of the type of Edmund Spenser; a lady-love shoe-string, or “twist” (often used to tie on a jewel), threads the ear and a fine lace ruff frames the head. The whole picture is beautifully painted by a highly accomplished artist. If this portrait represents Shakespeare at about the age of 30, that is to say in 1594, the actor-dramatist had made astonishing progress in the world, and become well-to-do, and had adopted the attire of a dandy. But Zuccaro came to England in 1574, and as his biographers state “did not stay long,” and returned to Florence to complete the work at the Duomo there begun by Vasari. The conclusion appears to be definite. The picture was acquired for the Baroness Burdett-Coutts by W. H. Wills.
Stronger objection applies to the “Boston Zuccaro” or “Joy portrait,” now in Boston, U.S.A. A Mr Benjamin Joy, who emigrated from London to Boston, owned a picture with a doubtful pedigree — transparently a manufactured tradition. R. S. Greenough, the American sculptor, used it along with “other authentic portraits” to produce his bust. In parts it has been viciously restored, but it is in very fair condition and appears to be a good picture of the Flemish school. In the vague assertion that it was found in the Globe Tavern which was frequented by Shakespeare and his associates, no credence can be placed, if only because no such tavern is known to have existed.
The “Cosway Zuccaro portrait” is now in America; but the reproduction of it exists in England in the miniature of it by Cosway's pupil, Charlotte Jones, as well as in the rare mezzotint by Hanna Greene. The picture is alleged to have disappeared from the possession of Richard Cosway; it was sold in his sale, however, and passed through the hands of Lionel Booth and of Augustin Daly. No one would imagine that it is intended for a portrait of the poet. It is far more like Shelley (somewhat caricatured, especially as to the cat-like eyes and the Mephistophelian eyebrows) or Torquato Tasso. The attribution to Zuccaro is absurd, yet Cosway and Sir Charles Eastlake believed in it. The inscription on the back, “Guglielm : Shakespear,” with its mixture of Italian and English, resembles in wording and spelling that adopted in the case of several admitted “fakes.” No attempt at discovering the history of the picture was ever made, but there is no doubt that at the beginning of the 19th century it was widely credited; Wivell and others attributed it to Lucas Franchois. It is said to be well painted, but the copies show that it is ill drawn. The miniature by Charlotte Jones, a fashionable artist in her day, is pretty and weak, but well executed; it was painted in 1823.
Of the “Burdett-Coutts portrait” (the fourth interesting portrait of Shakespeare in the possession of Mr Burdett-Coutts) there is no history whatever to record. No name has been suggested for the artist, but the hands and accessories of dress strongly resemble those in the portrait of Elizabeth Hardwick, countess of Shrewsbury, in the National Portrait Gallery. The ruff, painted with extreme care, reveals a pentimento. The picture is admirably executed, but the face is weak and is the least satisfactory part of it; especially feeble is the ear with the ring. Shakespeare's shield, crest, with red mantling, which appear co-temporary with the rest, and the figures “37” beneath it, appear on the background, in the manner adopted in 17th-century portraits. From this picture the “Craven portrait” seems to have been “faked.”
Equally striking is the “Ashbourne portrait,” well known through G. F. Storm's engraving of it. It is sometimes called the “Kingston portrait” as the first known owner of it was the Rev. Clement U. Kingston, who issued the engraving in 1847. It is an important three-quarter length, representing a figure in black standing beside a table at the corner of which is a skull whereon the figure rests his right forearm. It is an acceptable likeness of Shakespeare, in the manner of Paul van Somer, apparently pure except in the ruff. The inscription “ÆTATIS SVAE. 47. A° 1611,” and the decoration of cross spears on a book held by the right hand, are also raised from the ground, so that it would be injudicious to decide that these are not of a later date yet at the same time ancient additions. It is the only picture — if we disregard the inadmissible “Hampton Court portrait” — in which Shakespeare is shown wearing a sword-belt and a thumb-ring, and holding a gauntleted glove. The type is that of a refined, fresh-coloured, fair-haired English gentleman. There is no record of the picture before Mr Kingston bought it from a London dealer.
More famous, but less reputable, is the “Stratford” or “Hunt portrait,” amusingly exhibited in an iron safe in the Birthplace at Stratford, to which it was presented by W. O. Hunt, town clerk, in 1867. It had been in the Hunt family for many years and represented a black-bearded man. Simon Collins, the picture cleaner and restorer who had cleansed the Stratford bust of Malone's white paint and restored its colours, declaring that another picture was beneath it, was engaged to exercise himself upon it. He removed the top figure from the dilapidated canvas with spirit and found beneath it the painted version of the Stratford bust. At that time Mr Rabone's copy, now at Birmingham, was made; it is valuable as evidence. Then Collins, always a suspect in this matter, proceeded with the restoration, and by treatment of the hair made the portrait more than ever like the bust; and the owner, and not a few others, proclaimed the picture to be the original from which the bust was made. No judge of painting, however, accepts the picture as dating further back than the latter half of the 18th century — when it was probably executed, among a score of others, about the time of the bicentenary of Shakespeare's birth, an event which gave rise to much celebration. The ingenious but entirely unconvincing explanations offered to account for the state in which the picture was found need not be recounted here.
The “Duke of Leeds' portrait,” now at Hornby castle, has been for many years in the family, but the circumstances of its provenance are unknown. It has been thought possible that this is the lost portrait of which John Evelyn speaks as having been in the collection of Lord Chancellor Clarendon, the companion picture to that of Chaucer; but no evidence has been adduced to support the conjecture. It represents a handsome, fair man, with auburn beard, with an expression recalling the Janssen portrait; the nose, however, is quite different. He wears a standing “wired band,” as in the Droeshout print. It is a workmanlike piece of painting, but there is nothing in the picture to connect it with Shakespeare. The same may be said of the “Welcombe portrait,” which was bought by Mark Philips of Welcombe and descended to Sir George Trevelyan. It is a fairly good picture, having some resemblance to the “Boston Zuccaro” with something of the Chandos. The figure, a half-length, wears a falling spiked collar edged with lace, and from the ear a love-lace, the traces of which only are left. Two other portraits at the Shakespeare Memorial should be named. The “Venice portrait,” which was bought in Paris and is said to have come from Venice, bears an Italian undecipherable inscription on the back; it seems to have no obvious connexion with Shakespeare apart from its exaggeration of the general aspect of the Chandos portrait; it is a weak thing. The “Tonson portrait,” inscribed on the frame “The Jacob Tonson Picture, 1735,” a small oval, with the attributes of comedy and tragedy, is believed to have been executed for Tonson's 4th edition of Shakespeare, but not used.
The “Soest portrait” (often called Zoust or Zoest), formerly known as “the Douglas,” the “Lister Kaye” or the “Clarges portrait” according to the owner of the moment, was for many years a public favourite, mainly through J. Simon's excellent mezzotint. The picture, a short half-length within an oval, is manifestly meant for Shakespeare, but the head as nearly resembles the head of Christ at Lille by Charles Delafosse (1636-1716) who also painted pictures in England. Gerard Soest was not born until 1637, and according to Granger the picture was painted in Charles II.'s reign. It is a pleasing but weak head, possibly based on the Chandos. The whereabouts of the picture is unknown, unless it is that in the possession of the earl of Craven. A number of copies exist, two of which are at the Shakespeare Memorial. Simon's print was the first announcement of the existence of the picture, which at that time belonged to an obscure painter, F. Wright of Covent Garden.
The “Charlecote portrait,” which was exhibited publicly at Stratford in 1896, represents a burly, bull-necked man, whose chief resemblance to Shakespeare lies in his baldness and hair, and in the wired band he wears. The former possession of the picture by the Rev. John Lucy has lent it a sort of reputation; but that gentleman bought it as recently as 1853.
Similarly, the “Hampton Court portrait” derives such authority as it possesses from the dignity of its owner and its habitat. William IV. bought it as a portrait of Shakespeare, but without evidence, it is suggested, from the de Lisles. This gorgeously attired officer in an elaborate tunic of green and gold, with red bombasted trunks, with fine worked sword and dagger pendent from the embroidered belt, and with a falling ruff and laces from his ear, bears some distant resemblance to the Chandos portrait. Above is inscribed, “Ætat. suae. 34.” It appears to be the likeness of a blue-eyed soldier; but it has been suggested that the portrait represents Shakespeare in stage dress — a frequent explanation for the strange attire of quaintly alleged portraits of the poet. A copy of this picture was made by H. Duke about 1860. Similarly unacceptable is the “H. Danby Seymour portrait” which has disappeared since it was lent to the National Portrait Exhibition of 1866. This is a fine three-quarter length in the Miervelt manner. The dignified bald-headed man has a light beard, brown hair, and blue eyes, and wears white lace-edged falling collars and cuffs over a doublet gold-embroidered with points; and in the left hand holds a black hat. The “Lytton portrait,” a royal gift made to Lord Lytton from Windsor Castle, is mainly interesting as having been copied by Miller in his original profile engraving of Shakespeare. The “Rendelsham” and “Crooks” portraits also belong to the category of capital paintings representing some one other than Shakespeare; and the same may be hazarded of the “Grafton” or “Winston” portrait, the “Sanders portrait,” the “Gilliland portrait” (an old man's head impudently advanced), the striking “Thorne Court portrait,” the “Aston Cantlow portrait,” the “Burn portrait,” the “Gwennet portrait,” the “Wilson portrait” and others of the class.
Miniature-painting has assumed a certain importance in relation to the subject. The “Welbeck Abbey” or “Harleian miniature,” is that which Walpole caused to be engraved by Vertue for Pope's edition of Shakespeare (1723-1725), but which Oldys declared, incorrectly, to be a juvenile portrait of James I. According to Scharf, it belonged to Robert Harley, 1st earl of Oxford, but it is more likely that it was bought by his son Edward Harley in the father's lifetime. It already was in his collection in 1719, but whence it came is not known. It has been denounced as a piece of arrant sycophancy that Pope consented to adopt this very beautiful but entirely unauthenticated portrait, which bears little resemblance to any other accepted likeness (more, however, to the Chandos than to the rest) simply in order to please the aristocratic patron of his literary circle. It measures 2 in. high; Vertue's exquisite engraving, executed in 1721, enlarged it to 5¼, and became the “authority” for numerous copies, British and foreign. The “Somerville” or “Hilliard miniature,” belonging to Lord and Lady Northcote, is claimed to have descended from Shakespeare's friend, Somerville of Edstone, grandfather of the poet William Somerville. It was first publicly spoken of in 1818 when it was in the possession of Sir James Bland Burges. It is certainly by Hilliard, but although Sir Thomas Lawrence and many distinguished painters and others agreed that it was an original life-portrait of the poet, few will be disposed to give adherence to the theory, in view of its complete departure from other portraits. It represents a pale man with flaxen hair and beady eyes; yet in it Burges found “a general resemblance to the best busts (sic) of Shakespeare,” and an attempt was made to prove a relationship between the Ardens and the Somervilles — an untenable theory. The miniature has frequently been exhibited and has figured in important collections on its own merits. The well-known “Auriol miniature,” now in America, is one of the least sympathetic and the least acceptable of the Shakespeare miniatures, excellent though it is in technique. It has the forehead and hair of the Chandos, but it is utterly devoid of the Shakespeare expression. In the background appears “Æt 33.” The costume is that worn by the highest in the land. It first appeared in its present character in 1826, but it had been known for a few years before, as being in the collection of “Dog” Jennings, and ultimately it came into the hands of the collector, Charles Auriol. Its early history is unknown. The other principal miniatures of interest, but lacking authority, are the “Waring miniature,” the “Tomkinson miniature” (which, like the “Hilliard” and the “Auriol,” was formerly in the Lumsden Propert collection), the doubtful “Isaac Oliver miniature” (alleged to have been in the Jaffé collection at Hamburg), the “Mackey” and “Glen” miniatures, and those presented to the Shakespeare Memorial by Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower, T. Kite, and Henry Graves. These are all contemporary or early works. Miniature copies of recognized portraits are numerous and many of them of high excellence, but they do not call for special enumeration. That, however, by Mary Anne Nichols, “an imitative cameo after Roubiliac,” exhibited in the Royal Academy, 1848, claims notice. In this category are a number of enamels by accomplished artists, the chief of them Henry Bone, R.A., H. P. Bone, and W. Essex.
Several recorded painted portraits have disappeared, other than those already mentioned; these include the “Earl of Oxford portrait” and the “Challis portrait.” The “Countess of Zetland's portrait,” which had its adherents, was destroyed by fire.
Not a few of the existent representations of Shakespeare, unauthoritative as they are, were honestly produced as memorial pictures. There is another class, the earnest attempts made to reconstitute the face and form of the poet, combining within them the best and most characteristic features of the earliest portraits. The most successful, perhaps, is that by Ford Madox Brown, in the Manchester Corporation Art Gallery. Those by J. F. Rigaud, R.A., and Henry Howard, R.A., take a lower rank. It is to be regretted that Gainsborough did not execute the portrait for Garrick, for which he made serious preparations. The “Booker portrait,” which gained wide publicity in Stratford, might be included here; it has dignity, but the pigment forbids us to allow the age claimed for it. The portraits by P. Krämer and Rumpf are among the best recently executed in Germany. The remarkable pen-and-ink drawings by Minanesi and Philip H. Newman deserve to be remembered.
The “faked” portraits have been at times as ardently accepted as those with some solid claim to consideration. The “Shakespeare Marriage picture,” with its rhyming confirmatory “tag” intended as an inscription, was discovered in 1872. It is a genuine Dutch picture of man and wife weighing out money in the foreground — a frequent subject — while through the open door Shakespeare and, presumably, Ann Hathaway are seen going through the ceremony of handfasting. The inscription and the Shakespeare head (probably the whole group) are fakes. The “Rawson portrait,” inscribed with the poet's name, is faked; it is really a beautiful little portrait of Lord Keeper Coventry by Janssen. The “Matthias Alexander portrait” shows a modern head on an old body. The “Belmount Hall portrait” with its pseudo-Garrick MS. inscription on the back, is in the present writer's opinion not the genuine thing which it claims to be. It represents the poet looking up from his literary work. In the early part of the 19th century two clever “restorers,” Holder and Zincke, made a fairly lucrative trade of fabricating spurious portraits of Shakespeare (as well as of Oliver Cromwell and Nell Gwynn) and the clumsiness of most of them did not impede a ready sale. The way in which they imposed upon scholars as well as on the public is marvellous. Many of these impudent impostures won wide acceptance, sometimes by the help of the fine engravings which were made of them. Such are the “Stace” and the “Dunford portraits” — so named after the unscrupulous dealers who put them forward and promulgated them. They have both disappeared, but of the latter a copy is still in existence known as the “Dr Clay portrait.” The former is based upon the portrait of Robert Carr, earl of Somerset. These are the two “Winstanley portraits,” the “Bishop Newton,” the “Cygnus Avoniæ” the “Norwich” or “Boardman,” the “Bellows” or “Talma” portraits — most of them, as well as others, traceable to one or other or both of the enterprising fakers already named. At least a dozen are reinforced, as corroborative evidence, with verses supposed to issue from the pen of Ben Jonson. These are all to be attributed to one ready pseudo-Elizabethan writer whose identity is known. With these pictures, apparently, should be ranged the composition, now in America, purporting to represent Shakespeare and Ben Jonson playing chess.
The “fancy-portraits” are not less numerous. The 18th-century small full-length “Willett portrait” is at the Shakespeare Memorial. It is a charmingly touched-in little figure. There are many representations of the poet in his study in the act of composition they include those by Benjamin Wilson (Stratford Town Hall), John Boaden, John Faed, R.A., Sir George Harvey, R.S.A., C. Bestland, B. J. N. Geiger, and the painter of the Warwick Castle picture, &c.; others have for subject Shakespeare reading, either to the Court or to his family, by John Wood, E. Ender, R. Westall, R.A., &c.; or the infancy and childhood of Shakespeare, by George Romney (three pictures), T. Stothard, R.A., John Wood, James Sant, R.A.; Shakespeare before Sir Thomas Lucy, by Sir G. Harvey, R.S.A., Thomas Brooks, A. Chisholme, &c. These, and kindred subjects such as “Shakespeare's Courtship,” have provided infinite material for the industry and ingenuity of Shakespeare-loving painters.
The engraved portraits on copper, steel, and wood are so numerous — amounting to many hundreds — that it is impossible to deal with them here; but one or two must be referred to, as they have genuine importance and interest. Vertue and Walpole speak of an engraved portrait by John Payne (fl. 1620, the pupil of Simon Pass and one of the first English engravers who achieved distinction); but no such print has even been found and its existence is doubted. Walpole probably confounded it with that by W. Marshall, a reversed and reduced version of the Droeshout, which was published as frontispiece to the spurious edition of Shakespeare's poems (1640). It is good but hard. An admirable engraving, to all but expert eyes unrecognizable as a copy, was made from it in 1815, and another later. William Faithorne (d. 1691) is credited with the frontispiece to Quarles's edition of “The Rape of Lucrece, by William Shakespeare, gent.” (1655). It was copied for Rodd by R. Sawyer and republished in 1819. It represents the tragic scene between Tarquin and Lucrece, and above is inset an oval medallion, being a rendering of the Droeshout portrait reversed. The earliest engravings from the Chandos portrait are of interest. The first by L. du Guernier (Arlaud type) and that by M. (father of G.) van der Gucht are introduced into a pleasing composition. The same elaborate design was adopted by L. van der Gucht. These, like Vertue's earlier prints, look to the left; subsequent versions are reversed. Perhaps the most celebrated, partly because it was the most important and technically the finest, up to that time, is the large engraving (to the right) by Houbraken, a Dutchman, done for Birch's “Heads of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain” published by T. and P. Knapton (1747-1752). This free rendering of the Chandos portrait is the parent of the numerous engravings of “the Houbraken type.” Since that date many plates of a high order, from all the principal portraits, have been issued, many of them extremely inaccurate.
Numerous portraits in stained glass have been inserted in the windows of public institutions. Typical of them are the German Chandos windows by Franz Mayer (Mayer & Co.) at Stationers' Hall, and in St Helens, Bishopsgate (Professor Blaim); and that of the Droeshout type in the great hall of the City of London school. Madox Brown's design is one of the best ever executed.
We now come to the sculptured memorials. After Gerrard Johnson's bust no statuary portrait was executed until 1740, when the statue in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, was set up by public subscription, mainly through the enthusiastic activity of the earl of Burlington, Dr Richard Mead, and the poet Pope. It was designed or “invented” by William Kent and modelled and carried out by Peter Scheemakers; what is, as Walpole said, “preposterous” about it — mainly the pedestal with its incongruous heads — may be credited to the former, and what is excellent to the latter. It is good sculpture, and is interesting as being the first sculptured portrait of the poet based upon the Chandos picture. Lord Pembroke possesses a replica of it. A free repetition, reversed and with many changes of detail, is erected in a niche on the exterior wall of the town-hall of Stratford-on-Avon. A copy of it in lead by Scheemakers' pupil, Sir Henry Cheere, used to stand in Drury Lane theatre. Wedgwood copied this work, omitting the absurdities of the pedestal, with much spirit in black basalt. The marble copy, much simplified, in Leicester Square, is by Fontana, a gift to London by Baron Albert Grant. Busts were executed by Scheemakers, founded on the same portrait. One is still at Stowe in the “Temple of British Worthies,” and in Lord Cobham's possession is that presented by Pope to Lord Lyttelton. Some very fine engravings of the monument have been produced, the most important that in Boydell's Shakespeare (larger edition). By L. F. Roubiliac, Cheere's protégé, is the statue which in 1758 David Garrick commissioned him to carve and which he bequeathed to the British Museum. It is also based upon the Chandos portrait. The terra-cotta model for the statue is in the Victoria and Albert Museum; and a marble reproduction of it is in private hands. To Roubiliac also must be credited the celebrated “D'Avenant Bust” of blackened terra-cotta in the possession of the Garrick Club. This fine work of art derives its name from having been found bricked up in the old Duke's theatre in Portugal Row, Lincoln's Inn Fields, which 180 years before was d'Avenant's, but which afterwards passed through various vicissitudes. It was again adapted for theatrical purposes by Giffard, for whom this bust, together with one of Ben Jonson which was smashed at the moment of discovery, must have been modelled by the sculptor, who at the same time was engaged on Garrick's commission. The model for the British Museum statue is seen in the portrait of Roubiliac by Carpentiers, now in the National Portrait Gallery. Another portrait of Shakespeare is in Westminster Abbey — a medallion based on the Chandos picture, introduced into Webber's rather fantastic monument to David Garrick. An important alto-relievo representation of Shakespeare, by J. Banks, R.A., between the Geniuses of Painting and the Drama, is now in the garden of New Place, Stratford-on-Avon. It was executed for Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery in Pall Mall, and was presented to the British Institution which afterwards occupied the premises; on the dissolution of that body it was given to Stratford by Mr Holte Bracebridge. It is a fine thing, but the likeness adheres to no clearly specified type. It has been excellently engraved in line by James Stow, B. Smith, and others, and was reproduced on the admirable medal by Küchler, presented by Boydell to every subscriber to his great illustrated edition of Shakespeare's works. It is remarkable that Banks's was the first British hand to model a portrait of the poet.
In more recent times numerous attempts have been made to reconstitute the figure of Shakespeare in sculpture. The most ambitious of these is the elaborate memorial group modelled and presented by Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower to Stratford and set up outside the Memorial Theatre in 1888. The large seated figure of Shakespeare is mounted on a great circular base around which are arranged the figures of Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, Prince Henry, and Falstaff. In 1864 J. E. Thomas modelled the colossal group of Shakespeare with attendant figures of Comedy and Tragedy that was erected in the grounds of the Crystal Palace, and in the same year Charles Bacon produced his colossal Centenary Bust, a reproduction of which forms the frontispiece to John H. Heraud's Shakspere: His Inner Life (1865). The chief statues, single or in a group, in London still to be mentioned are the following: that by H. H. Armstead, R.A., in marble, on the southern podium of the Albert Memorial; by Hamo Thornycroft, R.A. (1871), on the Poets' Fountain in Park Lane; by Messrs Daymond on the upper storey of the City of London School, on the Victoria Embankment; and by F. E. Schenck, a seated figure, on the façade of the Hammersmith Public Library. The Droeshout portrait is the basis of the head in the bronze memorial by Professor Lanteri set into the wall on the conjectural site of the Globe Theatre (1909) and of the excellent bust by Mr C. J. Allen in the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, in memory of Heminge and Condell (1896). A recumbent statue, with head of the Chandos type, was in preparation in 1910 for erection in the south aisle of Southwark Cathedral. Among statues erected in the provinces are those by Mr H. Pegram, A.R.A., in the building of Birmingham University (1908) and by M. Guillemin for Messrs Farmer and Brindley for the Nottingham University buildings.
Several statues of importance nave been erected in other countries. The bronze by M. Paul Fournier in Paris (presented by an English resident) marks the junction of the Boulevard Haussmann and the Avenue de Messine (1888). The seated marble statue by Professor O. Lessing was set up in Weimar by the German Shakespeare Society; the sculptor has also modelled a couple of busts of a very personal and, it may be said, un-English type. A seated statue in stone roughly hewn with characteristic breadth by the Danish sculptor, Louis Hasselriis, has for some years been placed in the apartment of the Castle of Kronborg, in which, according to the Danish tradition, Shakespeare and his company acted for the king of Denmark. America possesses some well-known statues. That by J. Q. A. Ward is in Central Park, New York (1872). In 1886 William Ordway Partridge modelled and carved the seated marble figure for Lincoln Park, Chicago; and later, Frederick MacMonnies produced his very original statue for the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. This is in some measure based on the Droeshout engraving. William R. O'Donovan also sculptured a portrait of Shakespeare in 1874. Great consideration is given by some to the bust made by William Page of New York in preparation for a picture of the poet he was about to paint. He founded it with pathetic faith and care and amazing punctiliousness on the so-called “Death Mask,” which it little resembles; as he was no sculptor the bust is no more successful than the picture. The bust by R. S. Greenough, already mentioned as based in part on the “Boston Zuccaro” portrait, must be included here, as well as the romantic, dreamy, marble bust by Augusto Possaglio of Florence (presented to the Garrick Club by Salvini in 1876); the imaginative work by Altini (Duke of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle) ; and the busts by F. M. Miller, E. G. Zimmermann, Albert Toft, J. E. Carew (Mr Muspratt, Liverpool) and P. J. Chardigny of Paris. The last named was a study made in 1850, for a proposed statue, too ft. high, which the sculptor hoped to be commissioned to produce. A multitude of small bronze and silver busts and statuettes have also been produced. Some attention has been accorded for several years past to the great pottery bust attributed to John Dwight's Fulham Pottery (c. 1675). The present writer, however, has ascertained that it is by Lipscombe, in the latter portion of the 19th century.
The wood carvings are numerous. The most interesting among them is the medallion traditionally believed to have been carved by Hogarth, and inset in the back of the “Shakespeare chair” presented by the artist to David Garrick (in the possession of Mr W. Burdett-Coutts). The statuettes alleged to be carved from the wood of Shakespeare's mulberry-tree are numerous; among the most attractive are the archaic carvings by Salsbee (1761). One statuette of a primitive order of art was sold in 1909 in London for a fantastic sum; it was absurdly claimed to be the original of Scheemakers' statue, but without the slightest attempt at proof or justification.
The Medals and Coins of Shakespeare offer material for a separate numismatic study. Those of the Chandos type are by far the most numerous. The best of them are as follows: Jean Dassier (Swiss; in the “Series of Famous Men,” c. 1730); J. J. Barre (French; in the “Series numismatica universalis,” 1818); Westwood (Garrick Jubilee, 1769); J. G. Hancock — the young short-lived genius who engraved the die when only seven years old; J. Kirk (for the Hon. Order of Shakespeareians, 1777); W. Barnett (for the Stratford Commemoration, 1816); J. Moore (to celebrate the Birthplace, 1864); and L. C. Wyon (the gift of Mr C. Fox-Russell to Harrow School, 1870). The latest, and one of the most skilful, is the plaquette (no reverse) in the series of “Berühmter Männer” by Wilhelm Mayer and Franz Wilhelm of Stuttgart, the leading medal-partnership of Germany (1908). After the “Droeshout” engraving: Westwood (1821); T. A. Vaughton (1908-1909). After the “Stratford bust”: W. F. Taylor (celebrating the Birthplace, 1842); and T. J. Minton; T. W. Ingram (for Shakespearean Club, Stratford, 1824); J. Moore, Birmingham; and, head only, Antoine Desbœufs (French, exhibited in the Salon, 1822 — obverse only); B. Wyon (for the City of London School, Beaufoy Shakespearean prize, 1851); J. S. and A. B. Wyon (for the M'Gill University, Montreal, 1864) ; John Bell and L. C. Wyon (for the Tercentenary Anniversary, 1864); Allen and Moore (with incorrect birthdate, “1574,” 1864). From the “Janssen” type: Joseph Moore (a medal imitating a cast medal, 1908). There is an Italian medal, cast, of recent date; with the exception of this all the medals are struck.
The 18th-century tradesmen's Tokens, which passed current as money when the copper coinage was inadequate for the public needs, constitute another branch for collectors. About thirty-four of these, including variations, bear the head of Shakespeare. With one exception (a farthing, 1815, issued much later than the bulk of the tokens) all represented half-pence. They comprise the “local” and “not local.” There are the “Warwickshire” series, the “London and Middlesex,” and the “Stratford Promissory” series. Many are stamped round the edge with the names of the special places in which they are payable. In addition to these may be mentioned the 24 “imitation regal” tokens which bear Shakespeare's name, around (except in one or two cases) the effigy of the king. They belong to the last quarter of the l8th century.
Many of the more important kilns have produced portraits of Shakespeare in porcelain and pottery, in statuettes, busts, in “cameos” and in painted pieces. We have them in Chelsea; old Derby; Chelsea-Derby; old Staffordshire (salt-glaze), frequently reproducing, as often as not with fantastic archaism, Scheemakers' statue; and on flat surfaces by transfer of printed designs — both 18th-and 19th-century productions; also French-Dresden and Wedgwood. In the last-named ware is the fine bust, half-life size, in black basalt, as well as several “cameos” in various sizes, in blue and white jasper, or yellow ground, and in black basalt. The busts were also produced in different sizes. Worcester produced the well-known “Benjamin Webster” service, with the portrait, Chandos type, en camaieu, as well as the mug in “jet enamel,” which was the fifth of the set of thirteen. Several of the portraits have also been produced commercially in biscuit china.
Gems with intaglio portraits of Shakespeare have been copiously produced since the middle of the 19th century, nearly all of them based upon earlier works by men who were masters of their still-living craft. The principal of these latter are as follows: Edward Burch, A.R.A., exhibited in 1765; Nathaniel Marchant, R.A., exhibited 1773 (Garrick turning to a bust of Shakespeare); Thomas Pownall (c. 1750); William Barnett; J. Wicksted the Elder (Shakespeare and Garrick); W. B. Wray (a beautiful drawing for this is in the Print Room of the British Museum); and Yeo. In the same class may be reckoned the Cameos, variously sardonyx, chalcedony, and shell, some excellent examples of which have been executed, and the Ivories, both in the round and in relief. The Waxes form a class by themselves; in the latter portion of the 18th century a few small busts and reliefs were put forth, very good of their kind. These have been imitated within recent years and attempts made to pass them off as originals, but only the novice is deceived by them. Similarly the old Shakespeare brass pipe-stoppers have latterly been widely reproduced, and the familiar little brass bust is widely reproduced from the bronze original. So voracious is the public appetite for portraits of the poet that the old embroideries in hair and more recently in woven silk found a ready market; reliefs in silver, bronze, iron, and lead are eagerly snapped up, and postage stamps with Shakespeare's head have been issued with success. The acquisitiveness of the collector paralyses his powers of selection. The vast number of other objects for daily use bearing the portrait of Shakespeare call for no notice here.
- (M. H. S.)