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SHAKESPEARE


century-when it was probably executed, among a score of others, about the time of the bicentenary of Shakespeare's birth, an event which gave rise to much celebration. The ingenious but entirely unconvincing explanations offered to account for the state in which the picture was found need not be recounted here. The “ Duke of Leeds' portrait, ” now at Hornby castle, has been for many years in the family, but the circumstances of its provenance are unknown. It has been thought possible that this is the lost portrait of which John Evelyn speaks as having been in the collection of Lord Chancellor Clarendon, the companion picture to that of Chaucer; but no evidence has been adduced to support the conjecture. It represents a handsome, fair man, with auburn beard, with an expression recalling the ]anssen portrait; the nose, however, is quite different. He wears a standing “ wired band, ” as in the Droeshout print. It is a workmanlike piece of painting, but there is nothing in the picture to connect it with Shakespeare. The same may be said of the “ Welcombe portrait, ” which was bought by Mark Philips of Welcombe and descended to Sir George Trevelyan. It is a fairly good picture, having some resemblance to the “Boston Zuccaro ” with something of the Chandos. The figure, a half-length, wears a falling spiked collar edged with lace, and from the ear a love-lace, the traces of which only are left. Two other portraits at the Shakespeare Memorial should be named. The “ Venice portrait, ” which was bought in Paris and is said to have come from Venice, bears an Italian undecipherable inscription on the back; it seems to have no obvious connexion with Shakespeare apart from its exaggeration of the general aspect of the Chandos portrait; it is a weak thing. The “ Tonson portrait, ” inscribed on the frame “The Jacob Tonson Picture, 173 5, ” asmall oval, with the attributes of comedy and tragedy, is believed to have been executed for Tonson's 4th edition of Shakespeare, but not used.

The “ Soest portrait ” (often called Zoust or Zoest), formerly known as “ the Douglas, ” the “ Lister Kaye ” or the “ Clarges portrait, ” according to the owner of the moment, was for many years a public favourite, mainly through ]. Simon's excellent mezzo tint. The picture, a short half-length within an oval, is manifestly meant for Shakespeare, but the head as nearly resembles the head of Christ at Lille by Charles Delafosse (1636-1716) who also painted pictures in England. Gerard Soest was not born until 1637, and according to Granger the picture was painted in Charles II.'s reign. It is a pleasing but weak head, possibly based on the Chandos. The whereabouts of the picture is unknown, unless it is that in the possession of the earl of Craven. A number'of copies exist, two of which are at the Shakespeare Memorial. Simon's print was the first announcement of the existence of the picture, which at that time belonged to an obscure painter, F. Wright of Covent Garden. The “ Charlecote portrait, ” which was exhibited publicly at Stratford in 1896, represents a burly, bull-necked man, whose chief resemblance to Shakespeare lies in his baldness and hair, and in the wired band he wears. The former possession of the picture by the Rev. John Lucy has lent it a sort of reputation; but that gentleman bought it as recently as 1855. Similarly, the “ Hampton Court portrait ” derives such authority as it possesses from the dignity of its owner and its habitat. William IV. bought it as a portrait of Shakespeare, but without evidence, it is suggested, from the de Lisles. This gorgeously attired officer in an elaborate tunic of green and gold, with red born basted trunks, with fine worked sword and dagger pendent from the embroidered belt, and with a falling ruff and laces from his ear, bears some distant resemblance to the Chandos portrait. Above is inscribed, “ Etat. suae. 34.” It appears to be the likeness of a blue-eyed soldier; but it has been suggested that the portrait represents Shakespeare in stage dress-a frequent explanation for the strange attire of quaintly alleged portraits of the poet. A copy of this picture was made by H. Duke about 1860. Similarly unacceptable is the“H. Danby Seymour portrait” which has disappeared since it was lent to the National Portrait Exhibition of 1866. This is a fine three-quarter length in the Miervelt manner. The dignified bald-headed man has a light beard, brown hair, and blue eyes, and wears white lace-edged falling collars and cuffs over a. doublet gold-embroidered with points; and in the left hand holds a black hat. The “ Lytton portrait, ” a royal gift made to Lord Lytton from Windsor Castle, is mainly interesting as having been copied by Miller in his original profile engraving of Shakespeare. The “ Rendelsham ” and “ Crooks” portraits also belong to the category of capital paintings representing some one other than Shakespeare; and the same may be hazarded of the “ Grafton ” or “ Winston ” portrait, the “ Sanders portrait, ” the “ Gilliland portrait ” (an old man's head impudently advanced), the striking “ Thorne Court portrait, ” the “ Aston Cantlow portrait, ” the “ Burn portrait, ” the “ Gwennet portrait, ” the “ Wilson portrait ” and others of the class. Miniature-painting has assumed a certain importance in relation to the subject. The “ Welbeck Abbey ” or “ Harleian miniature, " is that which Walpole caused to be engraved by Vertue for Pope's edition of Shakespeare (1723-1725)» but which Oldys declared, incorrectly, to be a juvenile portrait of James I. According to Scharf, it belonged to Robert Harley, 1st earl of Oxford, but it is more likely that it was bought by his son Edward Harley in the father's lifetime. It already was in his collection in 1719, but whence it 'came is not known. It has been denounced as a piece of arrant sycophancy that Pope consented to adopt this very beautiful but entirely unauthenticated portrait, which bears little resemblance to any other accepted likeness (more, however, to the Chandos than to the rest) simply in order to please the aristocratic patron of his literary circle. It measures 2 in. high; Vertue's exquisite engraving, executed in 1721, enlarged it to 5; and became the “ authority ” for numerous copies, British and foreign. The “Somerville ” or “Hilliard miniature, ” belonging to Lord and Lady Northcote, is claimed to have descended from Shakespeare's friend, Somerville of Edstone, grandfather of the poet William Somerville. It was first publicly spoken of in 1818 when it was in the possession of Sir»]'ames Bland Burges. It is certainly by Hilliard, but although Sir Thomas Lawrence and many distinguished painters and others agreed that it was an original life portrait of the poet, few will be disposed to give adherence to the theory, in view of its complete departure from other portraits. It represents a ale man with flaxen hair and beady e es; yet in it Burges found] “ a general resemblance to the best busts (sic) of Shakespeare, ” and an attempt was made to prove a relationship between the Ardens and the Somervilles-an untenable theory. The miniature has frequently been exhibited and has figured in important collections on its own merits. The well-known “ Auriol miniature, ” now in America, is one of the least sympathetic and the least acceptable of the Shakespeare miniatures, excellent though it is in technique. It has the forehead and hairiof the Chandos, but it is utterly devoid of the Shakespeare expression. In the background appearsf “ /E” 33." The costume is that worn by the highest in the land. It first appeared in its present character in 1826, but it had been known for a few years before, as being in the collection of “ Dog ” Jennings, and ultimately it came into the hands of the collector, Charles Auriol. Its early history is unknown. The other principal miniatures of interest, but lacking authority, are the “ Waring miniature, " the “ Tomkinson miniature " (which, like the “ Hilliard " and the “ Auriol, ” was formerly in the Lumsden Propert collection), the doubtful “ Isaac Oliver miniature " (alleged to have been in the Iaffé collection at Hamburg), the “ Mackey ” and “ Glen " miniatures, and those presented to the Shakespeare Memorial b Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower, T. Kite, and Henry Graves. Thlese are all contemporary or early works. Miniature copies of recognized portraits are numerous and many of them of high excellence, but they do not call for special enumeration. That, however, by Mary Anne Nichols, “ an imitative cameo after Roubiliac, " exhibited in the Royal Academy, 1848, claims notice. In this category are a number of enamels by accomplished artists, the chief of them Henry Bone, R.A., H. P. Bone, and W. Essex. Several recorded painted portraits have disappeared, other than those already mentioned; these include the “ Earl of Oxford portrait " and the “ Challis portrait.” The “ Countess of Zetland's portrait, ” which had its adherents, was destroyed by tire. Not a few of the existent representations of Shakespeare, unauthoritative as they are, were honestly produced as memorial pictures. There is another class, the earnest attempts made to reconstitute the face and form of the poet, combining within' them the bestiand most characteristic features of the earliest portraits. The most successful, perhaps, is that by Ford Madox Brown. in the Manchester Corporation Art Gallery. Those by ]. F. Rigaud, R.A., and Henry Howard, R.A., take a lower rank. It is to be regretted that Gainsborough did not execute the portrait for Garrick, for which he made serious preparations. The “ Booker portrait, " which gained wide publicity in Stratford, might be included here; it has d1gmty, but the pigment forbids us to allow the age claimed for lt. The portraits by P. Kramer and Rumpf are among the best recently executed in Germany. The remarkable pen-and-ink drawings by

Minanesi and Philip H. Newman deserve to be remembered.