Lifetime Portrait of Bard Found
Work is only living painting of the Bard
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2009 1:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – A family heirloom is thought to be the only surviving portrait of William Shakespeare painted during his life, the Telegraph reports. Art restorer Alex Cobbe noticed that a portrait of the Bard in the Folger Shakespeare library in Washington—known to be a posthumous copy of another work—bore an uncanny resemblance to a painting he had inherited. After extensive analysis of Cobbe’s painting, experts believe it was the basis for the Folger copy.

"My first impression was skepticism," said Stanley Wells, chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, who examined the work. "But my excitement has grown with the amount of evidence about the painting. "I am willing to go 90% of the way to declaring my confirmation that this is the only lifetime portrait of Shakespeare."