A WORLD-FAMOUS portrait of Shakespeare has taken up residence at the RSC – but it won’t be hanging around for long.
The Chandos portrait is believed to be the only portrait of the Bard which has a good claim to have been painted from life, and has been used as a reference for many other pictures in the last 400 years.
The portrait is on loan to the RSC to mark the opening of new exhibition The Play’s the Thing, and can be seen alongside the RSC’s first folio of Shakespeare’s plays, until December 18.
It was the first portrait acquired by the National Portrait Gallery when it was founded in 1856 and has rarely left its London home since then.
Director of events and exhibitions, Geraldine Collinge, said: “William Shakespeare, the source of our creative inspiration, sits at the heart of this new exhibition through his words and our interpretation of his plays.
“We are delighted that the Chandos Portrait will be on display for our opening few months, sitting alongside so many contemporary responses to his work.”