Soest Portrait of Shakespeare


A portrait painting of Shakespeare by Gerard Soest, probably painted some time between 1660 and 1680; oils; subject is represented in three-quarter view, almost life-size. It appears to have been based on the painting thought to have been painted by John Taylor c. 1610 known as the 'Chandos' Portrait (in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery). Shakespeare's gently wavy hair, his neatly trimmed, but slightly sparse beard and his falling collar, all refer back to this portrait. The figured black doublet, however, with its slashed wings, owe more to the engraved image by Martin Droeshout for the First Folio edition of Shakespeare's works. Following purchase by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, re-framed in a carved wood and gilt leaf moulding frame of early seventeenth-century date.

  • Measurements

  • Width

    645 mm (unframed)
    735 mm (frame)

  • Height

    860 mm (frame)
    765 mm (unframed)

  • Credit line

    CC-BY-NC-ND Image Courtesy of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust