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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, 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

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