Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day 76/365 A Painting By Any Other Name

Looked what's popped up! First painted in 1610, this almost-definitely Shakespeare portrait is the the only one thought to have been painted in his lifetime. Originally it was commissioned by Shakepeare's patron the Earl of Southampton. At least the experts are 90% sure it's Shakespeare.

Me? I'll be the first to say I hope it is - he looks exactly like I always wanted Shakepeare to look (surprisingly like Joseph Fiennes in Shakespeare in Love).

I'm one of those pompous people that say they LOVE Shakespeare -mostly because I do.

My first exposure was to Franco Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet, which remains the most authentic production to date, although it's known that troubadors were telling the tale a good two hundred years before Will picked up his quill pen. It's still one of my top 5 movies of all time.

A year or so later, when I was in high school, my English teacher arranged an all-day field trip to the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis for a staging of Midsummer Night's Dream. Like all the other kids, I immediately signed up, sensing a chance for a day out of class, the allure of an all-day/all-night bus ride with my boyfriend, and, oh yeah, The Play.

Little did I know I would be sucked in by Shakespeare.

Actually, I think everyone in the class was. Whether it was a tribute to the Bard or the incredible cast of the Guthrie, every single one of us was entranced during the play. Afterwards during the long ride home on the bus, Midsummer was the topic of discussion - and there was no teacher leading us on (she was crashed out sleeping in the front row).

So welcome to the new painting! After all:

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet".
Romeo and Juliet ( Quote Act II, Sc. II).


  1. I read about this today and had pretty much the exact same reaction to the looks!! :)
    Love the bottom photo too.

  2. LOL... Daniel sent me this article on Monday and I just blogged about it too:)