Even though we all think we know what Shakespeare looks like from our middle school Hamlet textbooks, only one portrait was (probably) painted in the writer’s lifetime. In this singular work now on view at New York City’s Morgan Library, Shakespeare is a total 17th century hottie with glowing skin, a stylish goatee and overwhelmingly large collar. Sexy. Unveiled in 2009, the quality and age of the portrait means it is now believed to be the original in a long line of Shakespeare portraits, the ancestors of our textbook copies.
The painting’s provenance has lead to its designation as “the Cobbe portrait”. It was inherited by Archbishop Charles Cobbe (1686-1765) and “had hung unrecognized for centuries in an Irish country house belonging to the Cobbe family” before being discovered, according to the Morgan Library’s website. Comparisons to Martin Droeshout’s early engraving of Shakespeare printed in the First Folio, the earliest collection of Shakespeare’s work published in 1623, have reinforced the painting’s claim to fame as the only contemporaneous painted portrait of the author.
Droeshout’s engraving is pretty familiar, but it totally lacks the punch of the painting. A much more delicate portrait, the painting shows off a virtuoso sense of light and volume and a lively portrayal of its subject’s intelligence. But there remains debate about whether or not the Cobbe portrait is actually of Shakespeare– some claim that it actually depicts the more noble, and obviously more handsome, Sir Thomas Overbury, an argument supported by the Cobbe portrait’s resemblance to a known portrait of Overbury.
The exhibition at the Morgan, called The Changing Face of William Shakespeare, marshals these different possible portrayals of the author and also includes several other portrait versions on view. Historical objects in the exhibition include a 1623 First Folio edition belonging to the Morgan Library, as well as a copy of Venus and Adonis, a narrative poem written by Shakespeare in 1593 and dedicated to his patron the 3rd Earl of Southampton. Maybe these texts, and Shakespeare’s body of work, are his only true portraits.
Musician and activist Charles Murrell said he was assaulted by members of Patriot Front on his way to work.
“Nana Harriet risked life and limb to be free so that no one White person would benefit off her person. And now we have someone white benefiting off of her,” said artist Maisha Sullivan-Ongoza.
This destination for modern and contemporary art showcases the vibrant arts community of the Pacific Northwest alongside galleries from around the world, open July 21 through 24.
As the global consensus on restitution passes the tipping point, some skepticism towards these sudden, improbable Damascene conversions towards restitution is probably justified.
The Renaissance master was boundlessly ambitious and intimidatingly energetic, charming, good-looking, diplomatic, and utterly opportunistic.
Part of a media project by Dr. Imani M. Cheers, Framing Fatherhood is on view at the George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design in DC through July 31.
Zadie Xa’s quilted textiles and Hernan Bas’s paintings of adolescent men enjoy a surprising but generative dialogue at San Francisco’s Jessica Silverman gallery.
While Koons may be a man on the moon, he’s looking back at Earth, oblivious to the vastness behind him, if only he would turn around.
International audiences have free access to the media collections of MMCA Korea, Sharjah Art Foundation, and ArkDes through this subscription-based art streaming platform.
Croatian filmmaker Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s debut feature accurately captures a certain kind of Balkan machismo.
The Getty Foundation announced late last week a new pilot program for emerging arts professionals from historically underrepresented groups, funding two-year positions at 10 Los Angeles arts institutions. The Getty Marrow Emerging Professionals pilot program — named after Deborah Marrow, the former Getty Foundation director who spearheaded an undergraduate internship initiative at the organization —…
Contemporary artist studios in Karachi prioritize pragmatism; many resist a traditional understanding of spaces with singular purposes.