Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Principium Amicitias

Bernard Shaw said he'd swap all the existing paintings of Jesus for a single photograph. The next best thing would would be an authenticated portrait of William Shakespeare, painted from life. Lo and behold, a new portrait that seems to have been hanging on an Irish family wall for the last four hundred years has just come to light.

This golden-skinned chap sure makes a change from the somewhat misshapen fellow we'd got used to from the cover of the first folio. And it makes an Englishman's heart swell with misplaced pride to know that the world's greatest playwright was clearly a bit of serious ruff.

I apologise.

UPDATE: Charlotte Higgins isn't convinced.

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