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Shakespeare Connected - Shakespeare Among Readers

12. Portrait of Stanley Wells - Oil on Canvas - 2010-2011

The painting echoes the Chesterfield portrait that opens this exhibition. Wells’s erudition and unparalleled knowledge of Shakespeare are well represented by the profusion of books and folders filling the bookcases in the background. A half-read open book rests on his lap. The painting seems to suggest that the viewer has just interrupted Wells in the act of reading. As Shakespeare in the Chesterfield portrait, Wells’ hands cover both pages of the book suggesting the possession of comprehensive knowledge. The open book reminds us of Wells’s continuous contribution to our better understanding of Shakespeare’s life and works.