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Sharing Shakespeare's Story

Soest Portrait of Shakespeare

Soest’s portrait of Shaksepare appears to have been based on an earlier one known as the ‘Chandos’ Portrait, thought to have been painted by John Taylor around 1610. Most images we have of Shakespeare were created after his death, or by people who never met him. Although pictures of him share a common likeness, depicting him with wavy hair, a short beard and wearing a black doublet, Shakespeare’s actual appearance is uncertain.

The artist Gerald Soest was born in the Netherlands and moved to England around the 1640s. He painted many members of the English gentry, including relatives of the physician William Harvey.

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