5 of 105 portraits of William Shakespeare
by Martin Droeshout
engraving, 1632 or 1663-1664
7 1/2 in. x 6 1/4 in. (191 mm x 159 mm)
Sitterback to top
- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Dramatist and poet. Sitter associated with 105 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This posthumous engraved portrait was first produced for the title page of the first complete publication of Shakespeare's plays in 1623, known as the First Folio (1623). The engraving was perhaps based on an existing portrait which has not been identified. This version of the engraving dates from the second or third editions of the plays in either 1632 or 1663-4.
Linked publicationsback to top
- 100 Writers, p. 9
- Charles Nicholl, Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, 2015, p. 4
- Cooper, John, Great Britons: The Great Debate, 2002, p. 45 Read entry
The First Folio of Shakespeare's plays, the first published edition, appeared in 1623 with an engraving by Martin Droeshout. This image, presumably commissioned by the editors and sanctioned by Ben Jonson, has always carried authority as an authentic likeness of Shakespeare. It appeared in four 'states': the first, or proof, state and second state for the First Folio; the third state for the Second and Third Folios of 1632 and 1664; and the fourth state for the Fourth Folio of 1685. Its status and clarity of line have led to numerous reproductions and imaginative adaptations.
- Edwards, Paul, Wyndham Lewis Portraits, 2008 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 3 July to 19 October 2008), p. 14
- Nicholl, Charles, Character Sketches: Elizabethan Writers, 1997, p. 6
- Nicholl, Charles, Insights: Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, 2005, p. 6
- Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 59
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 558
- Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 283
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Making History: Printed Portraiture in Tudor and Stuart Britain (7 July 2007 - 9 December 2007)
Events of 1632back to top
Current affairsThe death of diplomat Dudley Carleton, Viscount Dorchester, who favoured military action against Spain rather than a peace deal, allows the peace party at court to assert itself during Charles I's period of personal rule.
Charles I revives medieval forest laws to raise income.
Art and sciencePoet and courtier, Endymion Porter, is instrumental in bringing Dutch artist, Anthony Van Dyck, to England. Months after his arrival, Van Dyck is appointed court painter by Charles I and given a knighthood.
The Second Folio of William Shakespeare's plays is published.
InternationalThomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, is made lord deputy of Ireland. His efficient governance and vigorous administration quickly returns considerable sums of money to England.
Charles I issues a charter for the colony of Maryland which would became a haven for Catholics in the New World.
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