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William Shakespeare

(1564-1616), Dramatist and poet

Sitter associated with 96 portraits
Born in Stratford-upon-Avon and 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, based on a work of circa 1620
NPG 1281

William Shakespeare, after Gerard Johnson - NPG 1735

William Shakespeare

after Gerard Johnson
plaster cast, early 20th century, from a mid 19th century mould of a work of 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, 19th century, based on a work of circa 1620
NPG 185a

William Shakespeare, by Martin Droeshout - NPG 185

William Shakespeare

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

William Shakespeare, after John Faed - NPG Ax39783

William Shakespeare

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

William Shakespeare, after a painting attributed to John Taylor - NPG D41643

William Shakespeare

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

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, after Gerard Johnson - NPG D41659

William Shakespeare

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

William Shakespeare, after Gerard Johnson - NPG D41660

William Shakespeare

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

William Shakespeare, by Unknown artist, after  Martin Droeshout - NPG D40738

William Shakespeare

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

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 D41637

William Shakespeare

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

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

William Shakespeare

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

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

Memorial to William Shakespeare for poets' corner in Westminster Abbey, after Hubert-François Gravelot (né Bourguignon), after  Peter Scheemakers - NPG D41656

Memorial to William Shakespeare for poets' corner in Westminster Abbey

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

William Shakespeare, by Jacobus Houbraken - NPG D25480

William Shakespeare

by Jacobus Houbraken
line engraving, 1747
NPG D25480

William Shakespeare, by Jacobus Houbraken, published by  John & Paul Knapton - NPG D41636

William Shakespeare

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

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 Jean Marie Delattre - NPG D41651

William Shakespeare

by Jean Marie Delattre
line engraving, published 1786
NPG D41651

William Shakespeare, by Robert Cooper, after a painting attributed to  John Taylor - NPG D40742

William Shakespeare

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

William Shakespeare, by John Godefroy, published by  William Richardson - NPG D41638

William Shakespeare

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

'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 - NPG D41655

'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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