Thursday, April 02, 2009

Shakespeare Portrait Debate Rages

After Katherine Duncan-Jones' effective volley in the Shakespeare Portrait Wars, Mark Broch, Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells fired back with a letter in the TLS this week, although some of the claims made within seem, eh, thin, if not outright laughable. They write that the Cobbe portrait can't possibly be Overbury, (even though it bears an uncanny resemblance to known portraits of him). "Perceived resemblance unsupported by documentary evidence is a naive (though natural) basis for identification," ... but isn't that exactly what they've done in calling the Cobbe painting Shakespeare?

And in Slate, Ron Rosenbaum starts off an essay by examining the portrait controversy, but then spins into a discussion of whether Shakespeare's attractiveness (or lack thereof) matters at all.

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