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The most celebrated English playwright and poet, and one of the great writers of all time, Shakespeare was highly esteemed during his life. This is the only portrait of Shakespeare that has a reasonable claim to have been painted from life. It may be by a painter called John Taylor who was an important member of the Painter-Stainers' Company. The portrait is known as the 'Chandos portrait' after a previous owner.
oil on canvas
H 55.2 x W 43.8 cm
Given by Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere, 1856