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William Shakespeare

(1564-1616), Dramatist and poet

Sitter associated with 96 portraits
The most celebrated English playwright and poet, Shakespeare is regarded as one of the greatest writers of all time. Whereas many poets of the period were wealthy amateurs, dramatists were usually professionals whose income came from supplying plays for the public theatres and court. Shakespeare worked as both an actor and playwright, and during his lifetime plays were usually regarded as texts belonging to the theatres for which they were written. However, the publication of Ben Jonson's Workes in 1616, and in 1623 his own Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, Tragedies (the 'First Folio'), were milestones in the recognition of plays as lasting, influential works of literature.

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William Shakespeare, associated with John Taylor - NPG 1

William Shakespeare

associated with John Taylor
oil on canvas, feigned oval, circa 1600-1610
On display in Room 4 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1

William Shakespeare, after Gerard Johnson - NPG 1281

William Shakespeare

after Gerard Johnson
coloured plaster cast, 1846 (circa 1620)
NPG 1281

William Shakespeare, after Gerard Johnson - NPG 1735

William Shakespeare

after Gerard Johnson
plaster cast, (circa 1620)
NPG 1735

William Shakespeare, after Gerard Johnson - NPG 185a

William Shakespeare

after Gerard Johnson
plaster cast of copy of head of effigy at Stratford-upon-Avon, (circa 1620)
NPG 185a

William Shakespeare, by Martin Droeshout - NPG 185

William Shakespeare

by Martin Droeshout
engraving, 1632 or 1663-1664
NPG 185

Funerary monument to William Shakespeare by Gerard Johnson, by Francis Bedford - NPG x197552

Funerary monument to William Shakespeare by Gerard Johnson

by Francis Bedford
albumen carte-de-visite, 1860s
NPG x197552

William Shakespeare, after John Faed - NPG Ax39783

William Shakespeare

after John Faed
albumen carte-de-visite, 1864 or before
NPG Ax39783

Unknown gentleman, possibly Sir Thomas Overbury, previously known as William Shakespeare, by Richard Earlom, after  Unknown Anglo-Netherlandish artist - NPG D4207

Unknown gentleman, possibly Sir Thomas Overbury, previously known as William Shakespeare

by Richard Earlom, after Unknown Anglo-Netherlandish artist
mezzotint, (circa 1610)
NPG D4207

William Shakespeare, by Martin Droeshout, printed by  Thomas Cotes, printed for  Robert Allot - NPG D16530

William Shakespeare

by Martin Droeshout, printed by Thomas Cotes, printed for Robert Allot
line engraving, 1632
NPG D16530

William Shakespeare, by Martin Droeshout - NPG D27947

William Shakespeare

by Martin Droeshout
line engraving, 1685
NPG D27947

William Shakespeare, by John Simon, after  Gilbert Soest - NPG D27948

William Shakespeare

by John Simon, after Gilbert Soest
mezzotint, early 18th century
NPG D27948

Monument to William Shakespeare in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, by George Vertue, after  Gerard Johnson - NPG D21013

Monument to William Shakespeare in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon

by George Vertue, after Gerard Johnson
line engraving, circa 1700-1750 (circa 1620)
NPG D21013

William Shakespeare, after Unknown artist - NPG D5944

William Shakespeare

after Unknown artist
stipple and line engraving, mid-late 18th century
NPG D5944

William Shakespeare, by Michael Vandergucht - NPG D25484

William Shakespeare

by Michael Vandergucht
line engraving, 1709
NPG D25484

William Shakespeare, by and sold by George Vertue - NPG D25488

William Shakespeare

by and sold by George Vertue
line engraving, 1719
NPG D25488

William Shakespeare, by George Vertue - NPG D25489

William Shakespeare

by George Vertue
line engraving, 1719
NPG D25489

William Shakespeare, by and sold by George Vertue - NPG D11109

William Shakespeare

by and sold by George Vertue
line engraving, 1719
NPG D11109

'Poets and Philosophers of England', by John Simon - NPG D41665

'Poets and Philosophers of England'

by John Simon
mezzotint, mid 18th century
NPG D41665

'Poets and Philosophers of England', by John Simon - NPG D3192

'Poets and Philosophers of England'

by John Simon
mezzotint, mid 18th century
NPG D3192

William Shakespeare, by Gerard Vandergucht - NPG D25485

William Shakespeare

by Gerard Vandergucht
line engraving, probably mid 18th century
NPG D25485

William Shakespeare, after Unknown artist - NPG D5945

William Shakespeare

after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid to late 18th century
NPG D5945

William Shakespeare, by Jacobus Houbraken - NPG D25480

William Shakespeare

by Jacobus Houbraken
line engraving, 1747
NPG D25480

William Shakespeare, possibly by Henry Brocas the Elder - NPG D25486

William Shakespeare

possibly by Henry Brocas the Elder
stipple engraving, late 18th to early 19th century
NPG D25486

David Garrick; William Shakespeare, by J. Miller - NPG D20571

David Garrick; William Shakespeare

by J. Miller
stipple engraving, late 18th century
NPG D20571

William Shakespeare, by John Hall, probably after  John Taylor - NPG D32488

William Shakespeare

by John Hall, probably after John Taylor
line engraving, published 1785
NPG D32488

William Shakespeare, by John Goldar, probably after  John Taylor - NPG D20572

William Shakespeare

by John Goldar, probably after John Taylor
line engraving, published 1785
NPG D20572

William Shakespeare, by Unknown artist - NPG D7217

William Shakespeare

by Unknown artist
electrotype, 19th century
NPG D7217

William Shakespeare, by Charles Warren - NPG D25487

William Shakespeare

by Charles Warren
line engraving, 1806
NPG D25487

Memorial portrait of William Shakespeare, by Thomas Woolnoth, published by  Mary Jane Godwin, after  Gilbert Soest - NPG D21646

Memorial portrait of William Shakespeare

by Thomas Woolnoth, published by Mary Jane Godwin, after Gilbert Soest
stipple engraving, published 1 November 1809 (circa 1605-1681)
NPG D21646

William Shakespeare, by Robert Cooper - NPG D18819

William Shakespeare

by Robert Cooper
stipple engraving printed in colour, published 1811
NPG D18819

William Shakespeare, by William Ward, published by  John Britton, after  Thomas Phillips, after  George Bullock, after  Gerard Johnson - NPG D42286

William Shakespeare

by William Ward, published by John Britton, after Thomas Phillips, after George Bullock, after Gerard Johnson
mezzotint, published 23 April 1816 (circa 1620)
NPG D42286

William Shakespeare, by James Heath, published by  Jones & Co, probably after  John Taylor - NPG D4071

William Shakespeare

by James Heath, published by Jones & Co, probably after John Taylor
stipple engraving, published 1822
NPG D4071

William Shakespeare with Lucretia and Collatinus, by Richard Sawyer, after  William Faithorne - NPG D22940

William Shakespeare with Lucretia and Collatinus

by Richard Sawyer, after William Faithorne
line engraving, published 1827 (1655)
NPG D22940

William Shakespeare, by Benjamin Holl, published by  Abraham Wivell, after  Laurence Hilliard - NPG D25481

William Shakespeare

by Benjamin Holl, published by Abraham Wivell, after Laurence Hilliard
stipple engraving, published 1827 (circa 1620)
NPG D25481

Unknown man, possibly a poet, formerly known as William Shakespeare, by William Holl Sr, published by  Abraham Wivell - NPG D25482

Unknown man, possibly a poet, formerly known as William Shakespeare

by William Holl Sr, published by Abraham Wivell
line engraving, published 1827 (circa 1600)
NPG D25482

William Shakespeare, by G.F. Storm - NPG D19795

William Shakespeare

by G.F. Storm
mezzotint, mid 19th century
NPG D19795

William Shakespeare, by T.W. Harland, after  Laurence Hilliard - NPG D25483

William Shakespeare

by T.W. Harland, after Laurence Hilliard
stipple engraving, 1840 (circa 1620)
NPG D25483

William Shakespeare, by Benjamin Holl, published by  George Virtue, after  Jacobus Houbraken - NPG D32618

William Shakespeare

by Benjamin Holl, published by George Virtue, after Jacobus Houbraken
stipple engraving, published 1840
NPG D32618

William Shakespeare, by Richard James Lane, after  Thomas Baxter - NPG D21778

William Shakespeare

by Richard James Lane, after Thomas Baxter
lithograph, 1853
NPG D21778

William Shakespeare, by Richard James Lane, printed by  M & N Hanhart, after  Thomas Baxter - NPG D21779

William Shakespeare

by Richard James Lane, printed by M & N Hanhart, after Thomas Baxter
lithograph, published February 1853
NPG D21779

Shakespeare und die englische Literatur 1564-1864 (includes William Shakespeare and 87 other sitters), published by Friedrich Bruckmann, after  Wilhelm Lindenschmit the Younger - NPG D46392

Shakespeare und die englische Literatur 1564-1864 (includes William Shakespeare and 87 other sitters)

published by Friedrich Bruckmann, after Wilhelm Lindenschmit the Younger
photographic print, 1864 or after
NPG D46392

Shakespeare und die englische Literatur 1564-1864 (includes William Shakespeare and 87 other sitters), published by Friedrich Bruckmann, after  Wilhelm Lindenschmit the Younger - NPG D46393

Shakespeare und die englische Literatur 1564-1864 (includes William Shakespeare and 87 other sitters)

published by Friedrich Bruckmann, after Wilhelm Lindenschmit the Younger
lithograph, 1864 or after
NPG D46393

William Shakespeare, by Sir George Scharf, after  Unknown artist - NPG D41915

William Shakespeare

by Sir George Scharf, after Unknown artist
pencil, 29 April 1871
NPG D41915

William Shakespeare, by Charles William Sherborn - NPG D21186

William Shakespeare

by Charles William Sherborn
line engraving, 1876
NPG D21186

William Shakespeare, after Unknown sculptor, after  Gerard Johnson - NPG D42285

William Shakespeare

after Unknown sculptor, after Gerard Johnson
photographic print, early 20th century
NPG D42285

Web image not currently available

William Shakespeare

by William Walker & Sons, after Isaac Jaggard, and Edward Blount, after Martin Droeshout
albumen carte-de-visite, 1862-1866 (1623)
NPG Ax9927

Web image not currently available

William Shakespeare

after a painting attributed to John Taylor
chromolithograph, (circa 1610)
NPG D41643

Web image not currently available

Unknown gentleman, possibly Sir Thomas Overbury, previously known as William Shakespeare

by Richard Earlom, after Unknown Anglo-Netherlandish artist
mezzotint, (circa 1610)
NPG D4208

Web image not currently available

William Shakespeare

after Gerard Johnson
stipple engraving, (circa 1620)
NPG D41659

Web image not currently available

William Shakespeare

after Gerard Johnson
hand-coloured lithograph, (circa 1620)
NPG D41660

Web image not currently available

William Shakespeare

after Gerard Johnson
mezzotint, (circa 1620)
NPG D18888

Web image not currently available

William Shakespeare

by Unknown artist, after Martin Droeshout
lithograph, (1623)
NPG D40738

Web image not currently available

William Shakespeare

by and sold by George Vertue
line engraving, 1719
NPG D41637

Web image not currently available

Memorial to William Shakespeare for poets' corner in Westminster Abbey

after Hubert-François Gravelot (né Bourguignon), after Peter Scheemakers
etching, 1741
NPG D41656

Web image not currently available

William Shakespeare

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton
line engraving, 1747
NPG D41636

Web image not currently available

William Shakespeare

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton
line engraving, 1747
NPG D19134

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