Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Portrait….Or Maybe Not?


Here’s an article that brings a little skepticism to yesterday’s big big news about the “new” Cobbe portrait of Shakespeare, which has actually been around for 300 years and believed to be Shakespeare for at least 3 years – yesterday was just the “official” announcement.

In the article, the author points out that the whole premise of this being a Shakespeare portrait rests on its similiarity to the Janssen portrait, which is already acknowledged to have been doctored to look like what Shakespeare was supposed to have looked like.  Got that?  So it’s something of a vicious circle – the Cobbe portrait is only Shakespeare because it looks like this other portrait of Shakespeare, but that one only looks like Shakespeare because it was deliberately manipulated to look like what Shakespeare was thought to have looked like.

Personally I’m still optimistic, as I’m sure that Professor Stanley Wells would have known this and not attached his name to such a single flimsy piece of evidence.  What have they been doing for the last 3 years before making their official announcement?  What tests were run?  What is now conclusive that wasn’t a year ago?

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