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The profile, however, and the general contour were the same; there was the same cleanness of cut in the nose, and in the features generally, the same unmistakably intellectual type of face. Of all recognized likenesses of Shakespeare there is none that, in my opinion, comes so near to the general character of the Death-Mask.
The facts which I have given in regard to this terra cotta bust were obtained from Prof. Owen in an interview at the British Museum, and afterwards, at my request, sent me by him in writing.
A few words in regard to other like
4. THE STRATFORD BUST.
The first in point of time seems to be the Stratford bust. Some account of this has already been given. A few additional particulars will be of interest.
Shakespeare is buried in the church at Stratford-upon-Avon, near the north end of the chancel, and there is a slab over the tomb, on a level with the floor of the chancel. On the north wall of the chancel, at an elevation of a little more than five feet, and immediately over the tomb, is an ornamented niche or frame-work of stone, containing a bust of Shakespeare, nearly life-size, and extending down to the middle of the person. Shakespeare died in 1616, and this monument is referred to by Leonard Digges in 1623. It must have been made, therefore, between these two dates, and most likely immediately after the death of Shakespeare, and was probably executed under the directions of his son-in-law and executor, Dr. John Hall.
THE DROESHOUT ENGRAVING.
The bust is formed out of a block of soft stone, and was originally painted over in imitation of nature.
The poet is sitting, as if in the act of composition, his hands resting on a cushion, one hand holding a pen, the other a sheet of paper, while his eyes are looking, not at his work, but straight forward towards the spectator. The pen was originally of stone, but this having been broken by a careless visitor, nearly a century ago, since that time an ordinary quill pen is usually kept in his fingers. The hands and face originally were of flesh-color, the eyes of a light hazel, the hair and beard auburn; the doublet or cloak was scarlet, and covered with a loose black gown without sleeves; the upper part of the cushion was green, the under part crimson, and the tassels gilt.
In 1793, Mr. Malone caused the bust to be covered over with one or more coats of white paint. Not many years ago this paint of Malone's was removed by some detergent very carefully prepared and applied, and the bust is supposed to be now very nearly in its original condition.
This Stratford bust is of great value, as having been made so early, and as having in all probability, been cut from some authentic likeness, possibly from the German Death-Mask. As a work of art, however, it is open to very obvious criticisms. The skull has the smoothness and roundness of a boy's marble, and about as much individuality or expression. The eyes and eyebrows are unduly contracted, the nose has evidently been shortened by an accident of the chisel, the cheeks are puffy and spiritless, the moustaches are curled up in a manner never found except on some city exquisite, the collar looks like two pieces of block-tin bent over, and finally, the expression of the eyes, so far as they have any expression, is simply that of easy, rollicking good nature, not overburdened with sense or intellect.
5. THE DROESHOUT ENGRAVING.
Next to the Stratford bust, in the matter of authenticity as a portrait of Shakespeare, is the copper-plate engraving by Martin Droeshout, prefixed to the first folio edition of the plays, that of 1623, and generally known as the Droeshout Portrait.
Droeshout engraved the head of Chapman, (translator of Homer,) of Fox (the martyrologist,) and of many other well known persons. What portrait was used by him in making this engraving of Shake
speare is entirely a matter of conjecture. The probability is that it was some coarse daub by the actor, Burbage, who had some pretentions as a painter, and who would be very likely to make a picture of his disguished fellow actor. If such a picture were hanging somewhere about the theater, nothing more natural than for the actors, Heminge and Condel!, in bringing out an edition of their friend's plays, to use for the engraving this picture with which they were familiar. All this, however, is pure conjecture. What more concerns us to know is that Ben Jonson has testified in the strongest terms to the correctness of the likeness. His words, printed on the page facing the engraving are as follows:
"This figure, that thou here seest put,
THE CHANDOS PORTRAIT.
ates. His touch may be as hard as a block of marble, his flesh-color like brick dust, but his 'likeness' is undeniable, or he would not be able to earn a crust."
Ben was extravagant in his feelings, whether of love or of hate, and equally so in his terms of praise and dispraise. But there is no evidence of his untruthfulness. After making every abatement for his warmth of manner, and his tendency to emphasis and point rather than to exactness of expression, it is yet impossible to suppose that he would have written these lines, unless the engraving was substantially a likeness. That the original, from which the engraving was made, must have been poor and bold as a work of art, is manifest on the slightest inspection. This, however, is by no means incompatible with its having been a faithful likeness. As Mr. Friswell justly remarks: "Untaught artists chiefly strive to catch the likeness; they depend upon this, indeed, for their success; and many a poor fellow who gained his precarious livelihood by painting portraits of the landlord and landlady of a public house and of the best parlor gentry who frequent it, is more faithful in his resemblances than Sir Joshua Reynolds. The artist idealizes his subject and tones down its eccentricities; the amateur or the dauber, who is 'clever at a likeness,' makes prominent, nay, even exaggerates, the peculiar style by which his sitter is known to his associ
The work of the engraver, in this instance, corresponds to the work of the painter. The engraving is, to the last degree, hard and stiff. It is evidently the product of one whose aim was to make a likeness, rather than a work of art.
In comparing the face and head thus presented to us with those already discussed, we observe, that while there are great differences, both in detail and in the general impression, it is easy to see the same man underlying them all. If we suppose the Death-Mask the point of departure, there is in the Droeshout engraving less divergence than in the Stratford bust, and more than in the terra cotta bust. There is the great distance between the eyes, and the amplitude of forehead, so noticeable in the Mask. The flesh of the face is fuller than in the mask, but not puffy as in the bust. The nose, not chopped off as in the bust, is, however, as straight as a stick, instead of having that delicately aquiline formation observable in the mask. The beard is shaven from the chin, but a few hairs are sprouting on the under lip, and there is a very light moustache. The forehead is high and bald, in all the pictures, but the hair hangs in long, smooth locks over the ears and the back of
the head. The costume is evidently some theatrical display put on for the occasion, and "smacking very much of the stage tailor." There is a doublet, buttoned up to the chin, and a plaited lawn ruff standing out all round in a most uncomfortable and ungraceful position, and stiffened apparently, in the edges and elsewhere, with wire. One feature, the most noticeable of all, is the projection of the forehead. In all the other likenesses, without exception, the forehead, with its noble expanse, recedes gradually and evenly. But in the Droeshout engraving, the forehead is like some beetling cliff, projecting, almost overhanging the brows in a way that is hardly less than monstrous. This misshapen character of the forehead may without difficulty be accepted, not as a part of the likeness of the poet, but as part of the unskillful etching of the engraver. It looks certainly not unlike a huge goitre transferred from the throat to the brow.
6. THE CHANDOS PORTRAIT.
Of painted likenesses of Shakespeare, none ranks so high as that known as the Chandos Portrait. This picture is in the National Portrait Gallery, and is the property of the nation, as represented by the trustees of that institution.
The picture was engraved, while in Betterton's hands, by Vandergucht; subsequently, in 1719, by Vertue, and in 1747, by Houbraken; after that, and down to the present time, by numerous, or rather almost innumerable engravers. The face of the Chandos portrait is indeed the one altogether best known to the public.
The picture is of life size, in oil, on canvas. In its general character it seems to resemble more nearly the terra cotta bust than any other likeness that I saw. The nose is straight and long, as in the Droeshout engraving, but is thinner and more delicately formed, and, in that respect, conforms more nearly to the Mask, yet it has not the slightly aquiline curve of the latter. There is not the same distance between the eyes, and the same breadth of forehead, that are to be seen in the Mask and in the Droeshout likeness, though the forehead is still ample and strikingly noble. There is more general softness in the picture than in any of the other likenesses that have been named, except perhaps, the terra cotta bust. The picture is decidedly artistic, and the artist has apparently, to some extent, sacrificed literal likeness to artistic effect. The complexion is dark; there is a pinkishness of color about the eye-lids; the lips are inclined to be full and sensuous; the ear that is visible is tricked out with a ring; the hair, a dark auburn, that in the Droeshout is plaited and smoothed down, hangs here in easy, unstudied profusion on the sides and back of the head, while most of the lower part of the face is covered with a soft beard of the same color. No lines of deep thought are in the face, no furrows on the brow. There is an equal show of softness, almost effeminacy, in the costume. The dress, so far as it can be made out, is of black satin, and the collar is of fine plain lawn, folding over easily but simply.
At the first blush, on looking at the Chandos picture and then at the Droeshout, one can hardly believe them to be representations of the same person. Yet, on placing them side by side, and deliberately tracing the lines of each, one after the other, the substantial identity of the two is clearly established.
In the opinion of competent experts, Mr. Page, for instance, the Chandos portrait has internal evidence of having been painted from life. from life. "When I look at that picture," says Mr. Page," I am sure that the man who painted it looked directly into the eye of
This picture originally belonged to, and probably was painted by, John Taylor, painter, a brother of Joseph Taylor, a player of Shakespeare's company. left by Taylor, by will, at his death, to Sir William Davenant. Davenant dying insolvent, the administration of his effects was granted in 1668 to John Otway, by which means the picture came into his possession. After Otway's death, Betterton, the actor, bought the picture. At Betterton's death it was, in like manner, bought by Mrs. Barry, the actress, who afterwards sold it for forty guineas to Robert Keck, of the Temple. From Keck it went by inheritance to a Mr. Nicholls, and thence to Mr. Nicholls's only daughter. who was married to James, Marquis of Caernarvon, afterwards DUKE OF CHANDOS. From the Duke of Chandos the picture went to his daughter, Anna Eliza, Duchess of Buckingham. On the sale of the Duke of Buckingham's pictures, in 1848, this Chandos Shakespeare was bought by the Earl of Ellesmere, and by him presented, in 1856, to the National Portrait Gallery, where it now is.
THE STRATFORD PORTRAIT.
Shakespeare." The conjecture is certainly a very plausible one, that John Taylor, whose brother was a dramatic associate of Shakespeare's, did paint from life his brother's friend and companion.
7. THE STRATFORD PORTRAIT.
The only remaining likeness that it seems necessary to notice is that known as the Stratford Portrait. The picture that goes by this name belonged to Mr. W. O. Hunt, Town Clerk of Stratford-upon-Avon, in whose family it had been for over a century. It was supposed to be some old portrait, but whose no one knew. Mr. Simon Collins, of London, a well known restorer of pictures, happening to be in Stratford, in 1860, this picture was submitted to his examination. He discovered that the original picture had been painted over, by a later hand; the face being covered with hair, and with a heavy beard. On the removal of this exterior stratum of paint, the true original, which lay beneath, was brought to light, and was found to be a striking likeness of Shakespeare. The discovery made a sensation in Shakespearean circles. The picture was brought to London and exhibited,
and caused much discussion. The owner finally very generously gave it to the town of Stratfordupon-Avon, and it is deposited among the other articles of curiosity at the Shakespeare House in that town.
This picture is traced with certainty to William Hunt, grandfather of the late owner. This William Hunt is supposed to have acquired it, with some other old paintings, in the purchase of his house from the Clopton family, in 1758. That however is mere conjecture, though a probable one.
No one who has seen the Stratford bust can look upon this picture without satisfying himself at the first glance that the two are connected. The connection indeed, is universally conceded. But was the picture made from the bust, or the bust from the picture? The Stratford people strongly insist on the latter, believing firmly that the picture was taken from life, and was the original of the bust. Critics and scholars outside of Stratford take for the most part the opposite view. Mr. Halliwell probably represents the average opinion of the critical world, in believing that the picture was made from the bust, and made fully a century after the bust. It has even been suggested that the picture may have been made about the year of the Garrick Jubilee, in 1769, and in commemoration of that event.
Whatever theory of it be true, the picture is without doubt one of great value, and is worthily placed for perpetual keeping in the same town with the bust, to which it is so closely connected.
The impression which these various likenesses, when thus reviewed, make upon the mind of the observer, especially the impression made by the Mask, is that of majesty and force: what a noble face this man had! how worthy of the noble thoughts to which he gave utterance! and we feel instinctively like applying to him the words which he has himself put into the mouth of Hamlet, when pointing to his father's portrait :
"See, what a grace was seated on this brow; Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;