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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 John Hall
line engraving, 1772
NPG D20349

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William Shakespeare

by Jean Marie Delattre
line engraving, published 1786
NPG D41651

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William Shakespeare

by Robert Cooper, after a painting attributed to John Taylor
stipple engraving, 1864 or before (circa 1610)
NPG D40742

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William Shakespeare

by John Godefroy, published by William Richardson
line engraving, published 28 March 1796
NPG D41638

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'William Shakespeare between the Dramatic Muse and the Genius of Painting'

by Benjamin Smith, published by John Boydell, published by Josiah Boydell, after Thomas Banks
stipple engraving, published 4 June 1796 (1789)
NPG D41655

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William Shakespeare

by John Godefroy, published by William Richardson
line engraving, published 28 March 1796
NPG D19488

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William Shakespeare

published by William Smith, after Martin Droeshout
line engraving, early 19th century
NPG D40737

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William Shakespeare

after Unknown artist
albumen print, possibly 19th century
NPG D41645

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William Shakespeare

by William Holl Sr, published by Vernor, Hood & Sharpe
stipple engraving, early 19th century
NPG D41652

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William Shakespeare

by Unknown artist
stipple engraving, 19th century
NPG D41654

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William Shakespeare

by Robert Cooper, published by Machell Stace
stipple engraving printed in colour, published 1 January 1811
NPG D40743

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William Shakespeare

by Charles Turner, published by James Dunford
mezzotint, published 22 May 1815
NPG D41642

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William Shakespeare

by James Godby, published and sold by Edward Orme, after Giovanni Battista Cipriani
stipple engraving, published 4 June 1815
NPG D41646

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William Shakespeare

by William Ward, printed by Lahee & Co, published by John Britton, after Thomas Phillips, after George Bullock, after Gerard Johnson
mezzotint, published 23 April 1816 (circa 1620)
NPG D41657

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William Shakespeare

by William Ward, printed by Lahee & Co, published by John Britton, after Thomas Phillips, after George Bullock, after Gerard Johnson
mezzotint, published 23 April 1816 (circa 1620)
NPG D41658

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William Shakespeare

after Unknown English artist
offset lithograph, (circa 1820-1840)
NPG D41639

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William Shakespeare

after Unknown English artist
photograph, (circa 1820-1840)
NPG D41640

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

by Robert Cooper, published by Sherwood, Jones & Co, after Richard Earlom, after Unknown Anglo-Netherlandish artist
mezzotint, published June 1825
NPG D41649

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William Shakespeare

by Charles Turner
mezzotint, circa 1825-1850
NPG D18898

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William Shakespeare

by William Holl Sr, published by and after Abraham Wivell
stipple engraving, published 1827
NPG D41650

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