Talk:Chandos portrait

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I removed the following because I can find no evidence for the claim. If it is indeed true, please provide a reference. The Singing Badger 01:06, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

On April, 2005, experts at Britain's National Portrait Gallery now believe the portrait was painted between 1818 and 1840, much later than Shakespare's death in 1616.
This is not a reference to the Chandos porrait but a reference to the "Flower portrait" - as featured on the BBC 4's "The Culture Show" - Jooler 08:16, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)


"Yale Center for British Art" is not a complete reference. Can someone please give a full reference otherwise it will have to be treated as unsourced material. gren グレン 03:10, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Seventeen months later, I improved one reference and eliminated the other sentence. howcheng {chat} 00:07, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Conflicting info[edit]

The first part says the earing and longer beard were added later, but the expert named later uses the earing to verify the "poet" status of the Chandos subject. Conflicting? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:36, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Historical background of attribution[edit]

An interesting bit of historical background is that (according to ISBN 030011611X and, apparently, ISBN 0312007833) this portrait was not attributed to John Taylor until the 1980s (see pgs. 51 & 55 of the ISBN 030011611X; see also Google Books; I haven't done even a cursory examination of ISBN 0312007833). I think, however, that it would be prudent to physically have the books (as opposed to the limited or no previews on Google Books) before adding the info, so I'll hold off until then.  :) --Iamunknown 14:59, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

His left ear?[edit]

In the painting, he has an earring in his left ear. Did they have earrings for men back then or did the painter put earrings on Shakesphere to make him look a certain way? Thanks. (talk) 03:56, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

I believe Bill Bryson's book on Shakespeare reveals that the earring is apparently a later addition, possibly added to make the subject look more risqué . -- (talk) 17:24, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Chandos portrait and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust[edit]


I reverted your edit to Chandos portrait where you removed the link to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's page on “What did Shakespeare look like?” with the edit comment “rmv link identified as an attack site - until proven otherwise -”. I have no idea what an “attack site” is, but I'd judge it has negative connotations; and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust — the foundation charged with maintaining the various Shakespeare related buildings in Stratford — could hardly be more unassuming.

Could you perhaps elaborate on that edit summary? --Xover (talk) 05:26, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, here is the warning I receive when making a link to the site,,

Reported Attack Site!
This web site at has been reported as an attack site and has been blocked based on your security preferences.
Attack sites try to install programs that steal private information, use your computer to attack others, or damage your system.
Some attack sites intentionally distribute harmful software, but many are compromised without the knowledge or permission of their owners.

I find it most curious because when I tried the link from another computer in another location, I did not receive the warning. Perhaps it is my virus control software... who knows. I have never received that message during many years of protection by the same service with a perfect track record for me... one computer is on a dial-up connection, the other is high-speed, broadband connection.

I removed the link and put in the notation to alert others to the risk reported to me.

If you have any insight into the notice I received, please continue discussion of it here --- I will not suppress the link again, although I continue to receive it from this machine. -- 83d40m (talk) 21:49, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

just went back to the link and looked further into the options for the blocking and received this,

Advisory provided by Google Safe Browsing Diagnostic page for

What is the current listing status for

Site is listed as suspicious - visiting this web site may harm your computer.

What happened when Google visited this site?

Of the 14 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 5 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 07/17/2008, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 07/13/2008.

Malicious software includes 5 trojan(s). Successful infection resulted in an average of 2 new processes on the target machine.

Malicious software is hosted on 1 domain(s), including

Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?

Over the past 90 days, did not appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites.

Has this site hosted malware?

No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.

How did this happen?

In some cases, third parties can add malicious code to legitimate sites, which would cause us to show the warning message.

Next steps:

  • Return to the previous page.
  • If you are the owner of this web site, you can request a review of your site using Google Webmaster Tools. More information about the review process is available in Google's Webmaster Help Center.

Perhaps this can give you more information --- 83d40m (talk) 21:58, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

So I am going to stay away from the site the link takes one to, and I think a warning to others is reasonable... its your choice as to the action to take. --- 83d40m (talk) 22:03, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

You're absolutely right. Good catch! I've commented out the relevant link for now and sent an email to the SBT to let them know about the problem. In the future, putting a note on the relevant Talk page, rather then relying on the (limited) edit summary, is probably a good idea in order to avoid confusion. Also, you were absolutely right to remove the link and I reverted it only because I didn't understand your edit summary (which puts it under the heading unexplained deletion). Do, please, continue to be bold (and see also WP:BRD)! --Xover (talk) 08:16, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks -- I'll use the talk page (as well) if I do this again and will read the pages to which you referred me. Please note to SBT that the warning appeared only on one system, I don't understand the dynamics of the difference, but the broadband connection I used that did not display the warning when I double-checked it after your reversion, has a highly secure connection that just might disable such problems...

I fixed the weird effects caused by the indents above so it will be more useful for others. -- 83d40m (talk) 23:21, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

National Portrait Gallery's assertion[edit]

I have removed the unsourced statement attributed to the National Portrait Gallery once more. I feel that the National Portrait Gallery has a vested interest in the assessment of whether or not the portrait is genuine, and are therefore an unreliable source in this matter, even if we DID have a source for their assertion. If someone wishes to revert me again, please at least say why. Best regards, Riffraffselbow (talk) 09:40, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

It is not an unsourced assertion, as you will know if you have read the article. Statements in the lede do not have to be sourced if they are summaries of sourced statements in the content. In any case, whether the NPG is 'interested' or not is wholly irrelevant. What matters as far as Wikipedia is concerned is that it is notable and a reliable source. The people who work there are top experts in their field. In fact the NPG's supposed interest in authenticating this as a depiction of Shakespeare is far less than its interest in not undermining its reputation for accurate scholarship. It can't sell the painting. Its 'interest' in having us 'believe in' the painting is chimerical. Its 'interest' being considered academically reliable is far greater (its raison d'etre when established in 1856 was to provide authentication for historical portraits). The NPG has reassigned the sitters in numerous paintings in its collection. All art historians consider NPG publications to be highly reliable and of unimpeachable scholarship. Your deletion was wholly unwarranted and entirely contrary to WP policies. It would mean that we would have to delete all exhibition and gallery catalogues as sources for paintings, since the galleries have an 'interest' in getting you to see the show or come to the gallery. This would apply to any government museum or scholarly institution with a collection. The Louvre couldn't be quoted on the Mona Lisa, the Smithsonian on the history of objects in its collection. All sources from the National Air and Space Museum would have to be removed from the article on The Spirit of St. Louis etc etc. What are universally considered the best and most reliable sources would be deemed unreliable. That's the road to madness! Feel free to raise the matter at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard. Paul B (talk) 10:36, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. Since when is having a acholarly interest equivalent to NPOV? Tom Reedy (talk) 15:29, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Reactions to the portrait[edit]

I found what I consider to be a delightful remark about the portrait which I think should be included in the article, but I don't think any of the existing sections are right for it. In an article in the Sunday Times (of London) by Ben Macintyre, March 10, 2009, this remark: 'Some Victorians recoiled at the idea that the Chandos portrait represented Shakespeare. One critic, J. Hain Friswell, insisted “one cannot readily imagine our essentially English Shakespeare to have been a dark, heavy man, with a foreign expression”.' [[1]] I should like to include it, but possibly a section of reactions to the portrait might be a good place for it. Does anyone have a strong pro or con opinion about including it or such a section? There is also a comment in the Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro's book "Contested Will" (which is a defense of the Shakespeare authorship) to the effect that we know so little about Shakespeare that even the image of him in most people's minds (& he is referring to the Chandos portrait) is probably not of Shakespeare at all. This would also be interesting to include in such a section. NaySay (talk) 18:25, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it would be interesting, I think. It's quite common for Shakespeare fans to complain about the pictures of him. All the surviving ones get lambasted for being rubbish. See the comments at Shakespeare's funerary monument. The Droeshout engraving fares no better. The Victorian comments you quote are particularly interesting. I'm not sure about Shapiro. He's not an expert on art. Shakespeare literature specialists often say silly things about art. In fact art historians take the view that the authenticity of the portait is highly probable, so I don't know whether Shapiro's opinion tells us much. However, doubtful images there are. Just before Christmas I saw a new book about Shakespeare that had the very dubious Cobbe portrait on the cover. Paul B (talk) 18:37, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I agree the Friswell quote is fetching and worth a giggle. I also enjoy what Charles Nicholl (in "The Lodger Shakespeare")calls the Droeshout: "an iconic but incompetent little cartoon." (p.22.) Shakespeare portraits are very trying indeed to his fans, as helpless little weathervanes of his impenetrable inscrutability. Perhaps I'll just add the Friswell remark to the last section, for now. NaySay (talk) 04:54, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

When was first reference made?[edit]

In "Authorship and provenance" the article states "but the first known reference to the painting...". However, no date for that reference is given. It would put the reference in better context if the date were added. 2001:468:C80:A103:697A:7316:428F:C307 (talk) 23:36, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

OK, done. Paul B (talk) 18:35, 1 April 2013 (UTC)