The Sander's Portrait: Shakespeare's Image
This portrait is believed to be a painting done in Shakespeare's lifetime. Due to the controversy over the authenticity of the painting, an extensive amount of tests have been done on the painting to place it in Shakespeare's lifetime. To test the wood used for the portrait, scientists did tree-ring dating. It was found that the earliest possible date for the painting to be done was 1597, which means that the painting could have been done in 1603 as the label on the back of the painting states. Infrared and ultraviolet radiation were used to determine that there was no retouching done to it after the painting was completed. The paint was also examined to make sure the materials came from the same period and are consistent with the materials of other paintings of the time, which was proven to be correct. Finally, the label on the back was examined. The paper was found to be made of traditionally used rag paper. Beyond just the material of the paper being examined, scientists also radiocarbon dated the label to make sure that it matched with the time period of the painting itself. The conclusion was the label could be dated between 1475 and 1640, which has the time period of the painting and Shakespeare being alive within the time range.
Based on all the evidence, do you believe Shakespeare was a real person?