[Northkeep] "New" portrait of Master Shakespeare

Jennifer Carlson talana1 at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 10 07:24:46 PDT 2009

This portrait depicts Willy with a long head and high forehead. The long face was fashionable in England.  Men who did not have a prominent
chin often wore a goatee.  High foreheads were considered a sign of
beauty for both men and women and, in the case of women, there is argument they sometimes plucked or shaved their foreheads.  The shape of the lace collar helps emphasize Shakespeare's long face and
tapered chin. His bust in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey shows more of a round face with the high forehead - of course, that was carved long after he was dead.  

Elizabeth I in her many, many portraits is most often depicted with a thinner, longer face that she probably had.  If you compare the paintings from her later reign with the portrait of her at fourteen, her coronation portrait, and her funeral effigy, you can see that all those court painters were being paid to make her look good.

Thirty years ago, photographers did "touch ups."  Today, we Photoshop.  It's a tradition.

Did you note that the Bard's eyes don't point the same direction?  One is centered, the other looking to the side. This produces the weird effect that he is looking at you, no matter what angle you are looking at the painting from.  This artistic trick can sometimes be found in renaissance portraits.  It does not likely suggest that Willy had a wandering eye.

Drooling over the lace pattern and doublet decoration

> Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 17:02:29 -0500
> From: rockmeamadeo at gmail.com
> To: northkeep at lists.ansteorra.org
> Subject: Re: [Northkeep] "New" portrait of Master Shakespeare
> It is rather exciting isnt it?  Perhaps one of the art history adepts can
> explain to me if people really had such huge long Jay Leno-esque chins at
> the time or if this was just a period style to make people look thinner and
> more distinguished???
> Amadeo
> On 3/9/09, Jennifer Carlson <talana1 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Check it out!
> >
> > http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29602071
> >
> >
> > Talana
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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