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Images of Shakespeare

Wednesday 6 April 2016

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Shakespeare expert Katherine Duncan-Jones asks what Shakespeare really looked like, offers a new perspective on his likenesses and explores the afterlife of images of the Bard.

The search for Shakespeare’s image may have begun in his own lifetime, though there appears to be only one surviving image – a painting – from this period, and it is not a very polished work of art. Two other early images – the Stratford bust and the Droeshout engraving – have never inspired much admiration among art critics. Nonetheless, Shakespeare’s huge fame has ensured that many versions of those images have been created, and Shakespeare’s supposed likeness is widely imitated and universally recognised.

Duncan-Jones is an emeritus fellow of Somerville College, Oxford, and author of biographies of Sir Philip Sidney and Shakespeare, and of Portraits of Shakespeare.

Presented by the Bodleian Libraries.