16th & 17th C. Author Pix

Collection by The Shakespeare Underground

18 
Pins
 • 
35 
Followers

Portraits of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. These engravings of poets and dramatists come from title pages of books published 1590–1670. Typical author portraits included classical pedestals, laurel crowns, English & Latin inscriptions, and the occasional winged baby. Shakespeare's portrait, from the First Folio (the collection of plays in which he is lauded as “Soul of the Age”), stands out as atypically spare. Why does the greatest writer's picture lack all of the usual visual fanfare?

The Shakespeare Underground
Samuel Daniel, frontispiece for The Civile Ware, Like Shakespeare's portrait from the First Folio, this one is placed right on the title page. Shakespeare Portrait, First Folio, Unc Chapel Hill, Elizabeth I, Title Page, Book Publishing, Vintage World Maps, Author, 19th Century

Samuel Daniel, frontispiece for The Civile Ware, 1609. Like Shakespeare's portrait from the First Folio, this one is placed right on the title page.

The University of Colorado Boulder, recently named Colorado’s host for the First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare national tour, is pleased to announce the First Folio exhibition will be open to the public at the CU Art Museum Aug. William Shakespeare, Shakespeare Words, Shakespeare Plays, Boston Public Library, British Library, Most Expensive Book, Expensive Taste, First Folio, Copics

William Shakespeare, title page and portrait from the First Folio, 1623. As you can see, this image is missing the ornaments and classical motifs that were characteristic of author portraiture. Also unusual, the picture is placed on the title page itself, with Ben Jonson's poem (that includes the line "look not on his picture but his booke") taking its place on the facing page. Why does Shakespeare's portrait diverge so much from conventions of the time?

Richard Brome, from Five New With its stark style and reference to the "Graver's strife," this page seems to deliberately echo the style of Shakespeare's portrait and Ben Jonson's verses about it in the First Folio. Shakespeare Portrait, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, First Folio, Title Page, Book Publishing, Verses, Author, Books

Richard Brome, from Five New Playes,1653. With its stark style and reference to the "Graver's strife," this page seems to deliberately echo the style of Shakespeare's portrait and Ben Jonson's verses about it in the First Folio.

Robert Herrick, portrait from Hesperides or, The Works Both Humane and Divine of Robert Herrick, Shakespeare Portrait, First Folio, Title Page, Book Publishing, 19th Century, Author, Statue, Pictures, Art

Robert Herrick, portrait from Hesperides or, The Works Both Humane and Divine of Robert Herrick, 1648.

John Harington, frontispiece to his translation of Orlando Furioso, Shakespeare Portrait, First Folio, Book Publishing, Genealogy, Orlando, Author, Orlando Florida, Family Tree Diagram, Writers

John Harington, frontispiece to his translation of Orlando Furioso, 1591.

Francis Beaumont, from Comedies and Tragedies Written by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher Gentlemen, (also see the pin for John Fletcher's portrait from this volume) Shakespeare Portrait, First Folio, Comedy And Tragedy, Book Publishing, 19th Century, Mona Lisa, Author, Pictures, Image

Francis Beaumont, from Comedies and Tragedies Written by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher Gentlemen, 1647. (also see the pin for John Fletcher's portrait from this volume)