The Chandos Portrait of William Shakespeare Restoration

The National Portrait Gallery in London is considering restoration of the famous Chandos portrait of William Shakespeare for the first time in 400 years.  This portrait of Shakespeare is said to have been painted by a John Taylor, supposedly a friend of the Bard, between 1600 and 1610, and named after its former owner, the Duke of Chandos, the Art Newspaper reports.

The Chandos portrait depicts Shakespeare as having thick, black hair with a receding hairline. It also portrays the Bard as having a high forehead, a pointy mustache sporting a hoop earring, supposedly gold, on his left ear. But since it is being considered for conservation treatment, it could alter the painting.

“The original restored works can look very different. You could get a dramatic revelation,” a member of the Fine Art Restoration Company said in a statement at Newsweek. The portrait, in fact, has undergone many changes since it was originally painted, but renovation work this time may cost his beard, the Times reports.  The National Portrait Gallery has not made a decision on cleaning, but the restoration work would involve the removal of discolored varnish on the painting and alterations made by early restorers. [Image: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons]