Page:EB1911 - Volume 24.djvu/822

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790
n
SHAKESPEARE

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 Iips, 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 I6OQ, 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 Ianssen 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-1ove 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 1 574, 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 ]oy, 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 ]ones, as well as in the rare mezzo tint 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 ]ones, 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 contemporary 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.” A

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 “ ETATIS SVAE. 47. A° 161 I, ” 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 pictur%if we disregard the inadmissible “Hampton Court portrait ”—in which Shakespeare is shown wearing a sword belt and a thumb-ring, and holding a gauntlet ed glove. The type is that of a refined, fresh-coloured, fair-haired English gentleman. There isno 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