Search the Collection

William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Dramatist and poet

Sitter associated with 94 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.

List Thumbnail

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

1281

William Shakespeare

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

1735

William Shakespeare

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

185a

William Shakespeare

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

185

William Shakespeare

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

x197552

Funerary monument to William Shakespeare by Gerard Johnson

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

Ax39783

William Shakespeare

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

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

D16530

William Shakespeare

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

D27947

William Shakespeare

by Martin Droeshout
line engraving, 1685
NPG D27947

D27948

William Shakespeare

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

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

D5944

William Shakespeare

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

D25484

William Shakespeare

by Michael Vandergucht
line engraving, 1709
NPG D25484

D25488

William Shakespeare

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

D25489

William Shakespeare

by George Vertue
line engraving, 1719
NPG D25489

D11109

William Shakespeare

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

D41665

'Poets and Philosophers of England'

by John Simon
mezzotint, mid 18th century
NPG D41665

D3192

'Poets and Philosophers of England'

by John Simon
mezzotint, mid 18th century
NPG D3192

Tell us moreback to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, something missing, or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have any information to share please complete the form below

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your nameclose

If you tick permission to publish your name will appear above your contribution on our website.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.