William Shakespeare

Engraver Samuel Cousins British
After (?) John Taylor British
Sitter William Shakespeare British

Not on view

Cousins based this mezzotint on the Chandos portrait of Shakespeare, a work with a good claim to be a lifetime representation. Once owned by the 3rd Duke of Chandos, the painting given to London's National Portrait Gallery in 1856 by Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere as the gallery’s founding portrait. The Bard wears a mustache, light beard, a dark doublet, white collar with open ties, and an earring. Most scholars today attribute the painting to John Taylor, an actor and painter-stainer who was its first recorded owner; others suggest Shakespeare's friend the actor Richard Burbage.

William Shakespeare, Samuel Cousins (British, Exeter 1801–1887 London), Mezzotint and engraving; third state

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