Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Shakespeare in Clay

The hunt to find an accurate image of the Elizabethan wordsmith has taken on a new urgency. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust recently put their faith in a portrait of what it claims to be the ‘only authentic image’ of the great man. Hot on its heels comes a recent find of a 16th century fragment from Beauvais featuring the image of a man with a ruff (above), found on the site of the Tower Theatre in London. Shakespeare is known to have performed at the theatre between 1594 and 1597, and Romeo and Juliet was probably premiered there. The pottery fragment, with its crazed glaze, could be almost any male of the period but whether the bard ever got to Beauvais and impressed the potters with his skills seems unlikely, but it’s a good story. Shakespeare, Shakespeare, wherefore art thou Shakespeare?

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