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William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Dramatist and poet

Sitter associated with 94 portraits
The most celebrated English playwright and poet, Shakespeare is generally 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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D21778

William Shakespeare

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

D21779

William Shakespeare

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

D41915

William Shakespeare

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

D21186

William Shakespeare

by Charles William Sherborn
line engraving, 1876
NPG D21186

D42285

William Shakespeare

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

Ax9927

William Shakespeare

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

x197552

Funerary monument to William Shakespeare by Gerard Johnson

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

D41643

William Shakespeare

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

D4208

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

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

D41659

William Shakespeare

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

D41660

William Shakespeare

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

D18888

William Shakespeare

after Gerard Johnson
mezzotint, (circa 1620)
NPG D18888

D40738

William Shakespeare

by Martin Droeshout, printed by Isaac Jaggard, printed by Edward Blount
line engraving, 1623
NPG D40738

D41637

William Shakespeare

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

D41656

Memorial to William Shakespeare for poets' corner in Westminster Abbey

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

D41636

William Shakespeare

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

D19134

William Shakespeare

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

D20349

William Shakespeare

by John Hall
line engraving, 1772
NPG D20349

D41651

William Shakespeare

by Jean Marie Delattre
line engraving, published 1786
NPG D41651