Humphry sketch of the Chandos portrait

Late in the eighteenth-century Shakespeare scholar Edmond Malone commissioned Ozias Humphry to draw a sketch of the Chandos Portrait, artist unknown. This version was reproduced in the Shakespeare rare print collection. Other versions of the Chandos portrait were used as the frontispiece in the Malone (1790) and the Boswell-Malone (1821) editions of Shakespeare’s collected works. The Boswell-Malone variorum is the copy text of the VERSE project, seeVersions Sifted” under Details.


The Humphry drawing was chosen as the iconographic image for VERSE not only for its evocative Romanticism, but also because of the inspirational role it had for Malone described by De Grazia in Shakespeare Verbatim, page 83, see Confer. “Malone, as might be expected, was interested both in what Shakespeare actually looked like and in accurately producing that likeness” and the Humphry sketch of the Chandos portrait was the one “which Malone kept in his study.” “Though a print taken from an engraving taken from a painting, this illustration gives the impression of being an unmediated image of Shakespeare as he looked in 1607, the supposed date of the portrait” … “we have a verisimilitudinous picture of Shakespeare rather than a coronation portrait.”