April 21, 2005

William Shakespeare, international man of mystery

Uh-oh.

One of the best-known portraits of William Shakespeare is a fraud, painted 200 years after the playwright's death, experts at Britain's National Portrait Gallery said Thursday.

Many art authorities had long suspected the work, known as the Flower portrait, was painted much more recently than the 1609 date on the image. . . .

Tarnya Cooper, 16th Century curator at the National Portrait Gallery, said an analysis had uncovered chrome yellow paint from around 1814 embedded deeply in the work.

[Full Story]

Here's the great fake itself:

NOT William Shakespeare.

Scholars would also like to assure us that, despite the obvious similarities, this, too, is not an authentic portrait of William Shakespeare:

NOT William Shakespeare.