A portrait said to be the only signed and dated image of William Shakespeare created during his lifetime has gone on sale for more than £10m and is being displayed in London.
The owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, is offering the piece for sale by private treaty without an auction.
It is the work of Robert Peake, court painter to King James I, and is signed and dated 1608. The artwork went on display on Wednesday at Grosvenor House hotel in west London.
Prior to 1975, the picture hung in the library of a stately home in the north of England, once home to the Danby family. Since then it has been in private ownership.
Those behind its sale claim the connections between Shakespeare and Peake are “extensive” and that the artist was regularly commissioned to paint the portraits of high-ranking members of the court and Jacobean society. —Guardian