1 of 96 portraits of William Shakespeare
associated with John Taylor
oil on canvas, feigned oval, circa 1600-1610
21 3/4 in. x 17 1/4 in. (552 mm x 438 mm) overall
Given by Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere, 1856
Sitterback to top
- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Dramatist and poet. Sitter associated with 96 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This is the only portrait of Shakespeare that has a good claim to have been painted from life, and may be by a painter called John Taylor who was an important member of the Painter-Stainers' Company. The portrait is known as the 'Chandos portrait', after a previous owner, and was the first portrait to be acquired by the National Portrait Gallery, when it was founded in 1856.
Related worksback to top
Linked publicationsback to top
- I-Spy National Portrait Gallery, 2010, p. 16
- Tudor Portraits Resource Pack, p. 38
- National Portrait Gallery: 100 Portraits, p. 9
- Audio Guide
- Charles Nicholl, Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, 2015, p. 39
- Clare Gittings, The National Portrait Gallery Book of Elizabeth I, 2006, p. 29
- Cooper, John, A Guide to the National Portrait Gallery, 2009, p. 18
- Cooper, John, Visitor's Guide, 2000, p. 26
- Cooper, John, Great Britons: The Great Debate, 2002, p. 49
- Cooper, Tarnya, Searching for Shakespeare, 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 2 March - 29 May 2006), p. 53
- Cooper, Tarnya, Searching for Shakespeare (hardback), 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 2 March - 29 May 2006), p. 53
- Gittings, Clare, The National Portrait Gallery Book of The Tudors, 2006, p. 26
- Hulme, Graham; Buchanan, Brian; Powell, Kenneth, The National Portrait Gallery: An Architectural History, 2000, p. 24
- John Cooper, National Portrait Gallery Visitor's Guide, 2006, p. 26
- Lucinda Hawksley, Moustaches, Whiskers and Beards, 2014, p. 28
- MacLeod, Catharine, Tudor Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1996, p. 38
- Motion, Andrew (edited), Interrupted Lives: In Literature, 2004, p. 16
- Nicholl, Charles, Character Sketches: Elizabethan Writers, 1997, p. 12
- Nicholl, Charles, Insights: Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, 2005, p. 32
- Parris, Matthew, Heroes and Villains: Scarfe at the National Portrait Gallery, 2003 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 30 September 2003 to 4 April 2004), p. 120
- Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 58
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 51
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 50
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 558
- Schama, Simon, The Face of Britain: The Nation Through its Portraits, 2015-09-15, p. 324
- Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 28, 179
- Tarnya Cooper, Elizabeth I & Her People, 2013 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 10 October 2013 - 5 January 2014), p. 212
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 61
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- His Picture in Little: Shakespeare, Hamlet and Tacita Dean (15 March 2018 - 28 May 2018)
- Face of Britain: Fame (14 September 2015 - 4 January 2016)
- Shakespeare and his Circle (4 October 2008 - 1 Ju
Subjects & Themesback to top
Mediaback to top
Events of 1600back to top
Current affairsRobert Devereux, Earl of Essex is put on trial for failing to put an end to the rebellion in Ireland, attempting to negotiate a truce with the rebel leader Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, and deserting his post.
Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, replaces Essex as Lord Deputy of Ireland.
The East India Company receives its Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I.
Birth of Prince Charles in Scotland (later King Charles I).
Art and scienceWilliam Shakespeare writes Hamlet.
The scientist William Gilbert writes De magnete ('on the magnet'), which pioneers research into the properties of the lodestone (magnetic iron ore) and introduces the terms 'electricity' and 'magnetic pole'.
The miniature painter Nicholas Hilliard works on his painting treatise The Art of Limning at this time.
InternationalHenry IV of France marries Marie de Medici from the powerful ruling family of Florence, Italy.
The Italian astronomer, philosopher and mathematician Giordano Bruno is sentenced to death by the Roman Inquisition and burned at the stake for heresy.
Following the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu seizes control of Japan at the Battle of Sekigahara.
See this portrait
On display in Room 4 at the National Portrait Gallery
Recommended Exhibitions & displays
- 'This sceptred isle': Shakespeare and the Plantagenets
From 8 December
- Njideka Akunyili Crosby: "The Beautyful Ones"
Until 3 February 2019
- Searching for Shakespeare
- Making History: Printed Portraiture in Tudor and Stuart Britain
- Director's Trail by Nicholas Cullinan
- Shakespeare quiz
- Gallery history
- William Shakespeare
- Searching for Shakespeare
- In Character: Shakespeare's plays
- WebQuest: Famous People Guy Fawkes
- The Tudors
- WebQuest: Pepys, Nelson, Seacole