Charles Nicholl: Counterfeit Presentments: Portraits of Shakespeare and the messages they send -podcast

Nicholl at KiSSListen here to the extraordinary talk by Charles Nicholl on Shakespeare’s portraits. Given as the Rose Theatre Birthday Lecture on April 21, 2016, the talk is entitled ‘Counterfeit Presentments: Portraits of Shakespeare and the messages they send’. Starting off with a discussion on ‘Counterfeit Presentments’ from Hamlet, Charles Nicholl surveys contemporary portraits to see how poets were presented, what kind of ‘masks’ they wore. Returning to Shakespeare, he poses the question about the original painting from which the famous Droeshout engraving was based on, before considering other portrayals like the Flower and Chandos portrait as well as the funeral bust. Nicholl ends with a startling reveal about the uncanny and mysterious phantom image found underneath Michael Drayton’s portrait. See below for the all the images he discusses in his talk.

Charles Nicholl is the author of numerous Elizabethan studies, including The Reckoning: The Murder of Christopher Marlowe, which won the James Tait Black Prize for biography, and The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street. He has also written an acclaimed biography of Leonardo da Vinci, and an account of Arthur Rimbaud’s years in Africa, Somebody Else, which was awarded the Hawthornden Prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and is currently Honorary Professor of English at Sussex University.

Nicholas Rowe Hamlet 1709

Nicholas Rowe’s 1709 illustration of Hamlet

First Folio

First Folio Title Page

Christopher Marlowe

Christopher Marlowe

John Donne

John Donne

Henry Percy by Nicholas Hilliard

Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland by Nicholas Hilliard

John Harrington

John Harrington

Harrington's Orlando Furioso Translation

Harrington’s Orlando Furioso translation frontispiece

Detail of Harrington's Orlando Furioso Translation frontispiece

Detail of Orlando Furioso frontispiece

John Harrington frontispiece

Later Harrington engraving

Michael Drayton Portrait

Michael Drayton portrait

Michael Drayton older

Older Drayton

Samuel Daniel

Samuel Daniel

Thomas Nashe

Thomas Nashe woodcut print

Ghost of Robert Greene

Ghost of Robert Greene

Droeshout engraving

Martin Droeshout engraving

Shax Flower Portrait

Shakespeare Flower portrait

Richard Burbage

Richard Burbage

Nathan Field

Nathan Field

Chandos Portrait

Shakespeare Chandos portrait

Ben Jonson

Ben Jonson

John Fletcher

John Fletcher

William Cornwallis Essays frontispiece

William Cornwallis Essays frontispiece

John Davies

John Davies

Shax Funeral Bust

Shakespeare funeral bust

Reproduction in book by William Dougdale 1654

Reproduction in a book by William Dougdale 1654

Images juxtaposed

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About kingstonshakespeareseminar

Kingston Shakespeare is the home of KiSS, and its offshoot KiSSiT. Both explore the world by thinking through Shakespeare.
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One Response to Charles Nicholl: Counterfeit Presentments: Portraits of Shakespeare and the messages they send -podcast

  1. I removed the “facial hair” from Shakespeare’s bust from his grave ans slimmed the cheeks a bit. I got a dead ringer (pun intended) for Generalissimo Franco and now I’m terrified!

    Like

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