What does Shakespeare look like?

“To be or not to be…”

William Shakespeare

This is the most detailed image of Shakespeare. It known as the Chandros portrait, after one of its early owners, the Duke Of Chandros. In 1856 it was gifted to the National Portrait Gallery UK, to become the first work in their collection. The only problem is whether it is a picture of William Shakespeare. Painted between 1560 -1600, it is the only image created during the authors lifetime. Other images, particularly engraving for prints of his works, date from many decades after his death. Indeed, most were based on the Chandros portrait. We may feel it looks like him, but we are likely biased. Recently, the National Gallery spent 3 years researching the matter. They concluded somewhat unconvincingly, that nobody be certain it is not him. Indeed, how certain are we of all the images of historical figures that we know and now recognise. Has anyone seen Jesus lately? #thatisthequestion #letsmakelemonade

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