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The Droeshout Portrait : a new discovery ?


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21 hours ago, Kate said:

Okay, so what I am going to say here is probably not going to be popular, but in search of the truth this has left me scratching my head, so I'll share it. 

I was recently reading this pamphlet, which lampoons the Droeshout Portrait. On page 26 it is said that Boaden (presumably the portrait painter) describes the engraving as 'an abominable libel on humanity". The author goes on to say that in his opinion the Jansen portrait is the closest to the real Shakespeare. So looked that up and it turns out it is Janssen but... 

 

 

PortraitofShakespeare.jpg.25e8c68ab3489e6fd779c42dddc58101.jpg

 

....I put them side by side and got this.

DroeshoutandShakespeare-portrait.jpg.1eeea11221d5976f27c698311d1cb4a8.jpg

 

I thought it was interesting as in this portrait (right) the angle is almost identical as are the lines on the arms. This in my opinion, actually make Droeshout's just look like a bad facsimile, rather than back to front arms.  The Shakespeare one also looks like the head is 'floating'.  The eyes and eyebrows, length of nose and even the shape of the ruff (minus all the lace) are pretty similar, but it was striking that the one of Shakespeare has more hair, so he doesn't have the baldness of the Droeshout (which is also missing a pointy beard). Then I noticed this was the version of the Janssen portrait which had been conserved, so I went looking for the original.

Here it is.

DroeshoutandShakespeare-portraitbeforeconservation.jpg.0257b5cfc1e53ebcde5f97bea4fa79cd.jpg

https://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/s/oi467k

No hair in the original. A bald forehead very, very similar to Droeshouts.

I'm absolutely mindful of APs extensive coverage of this in his recent paper/book, but I can't help but wonder what is going on here. Did Droeshout copy from this portrait (badly) and the decades of people thinking there was a floating head and back to back arms really was down to his inexperience. If so, why did they use him? I have to say that I thought some of Droeshout's other early 1600s engraving were also pretty poor. It took me a while to come up with one that captured real expression on the face (Howson). Many of his early ones were a bit vacant in facial expression.

The upshot is then, this is the first time ever that I have questioned whether, on this point - not on the authorship - the Stratfordians are right. As I say, I get that it will be unpopular to say this, but I can't blindly dismiss the likenesses here.

Am I missing something?

Hi Kate

Both the Folger and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust acknowledge that the Janssen portrait is not of Shakespeare, but rather of Sir Thomas Overbury, having been repainted to look like the Droeshout "at some point prior to 1770". If you read all the way down the column on the left of the Folger page it will give you some background on the painting. https://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/detail/FOLGERCM1~6~6~28422~102045:Janssen-Portrait-of-Shakespeare

Here's a brief comment by the SBT about the "Janssen" portrait: https://collections.shakespeare.org.uk/search/museum/strst-sbt-1994-19-69/view_as/grid/search/everywhere:janssen-portrait/page/1

 

Edited by Eric Roberts
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3 hours ago, Kate said:

‘When’ is reported as around 1604-1610.

You could be right Rob, who really knows, but the floating head and the bald forehead in the unrestored version inclines me to think he copied it from this earlier one, not the other way round.
 

The arrow here points to why it appears to be floating as it’s just black shadow or space, which is why Droeshout may have put his head abnormally high in his engraving - especially if he was doing a rough trace of it.  Round off the chin, add a bit of detail on the nostril, take off the lace and the Droeshout is an almost exact copy.IMG_3709.jpeg.a5570a8e7c5ebe73f4c1208f37e26fc5.jpeg

The Cobbe one has detail added at shoulder level and more hair, detailed lace and the eyes have more life.

IMG_3708.jpeg.45fde9308978826579220b2ce19906f0.jpeg


Anyway, all very interesting stuff to contemplate. 

 

Hi again Kate. Just to be clear, the "Janssen" was originally an exact copy of the "Cobbe". At some point someone altered (raised) the hairline to make it look like the Droeshout - but both the Janssen and the Cobbe are actually a portrait of Thomas Overbury. I've taken a few extracts from an article which I hope are some help.

image.png.25bbfa25958bfd7bf1ffac535fdf2c52.png

image.png.2e4258535d6017c23a11f101e722de3c.png

image.png.e75bc85dcf784961dab9d1ab25fa5ebd.png

image.png.ae89226ea0f8fa0e1fd423d092648bb3.png

 

The Chandos portrait cannot be confirmed as a portrait of W.S., but the National Gallery have declared it to be the "most likely" portrait we have of the man from Stratford.

The painting is said to be by an amateur. Some have said the sitter has a swarthy Mediterranean look. Whoever the picture represents he looks none to bright to me. So perhaps it could be a portrait of Shaxper after all.

image.png.4372ba5a743c7e3908c6fba1f94551fc.png

Text credit: https://politicworm.com/oxford-shakespeare/expanding-the-question/vizualizing-shakespeare-a-tale-of-two-portraits/

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1 hour ago, Light-of-Truth said:

Interesting. Martin Droeshout apparently knew Bacon before the First Folio engraving. 🙂

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:"Doctor_Panurgus"_curing_the_folly_of_his_patients_by_purgat_Wellcome_L0023713.jpg

image.png.f93a97ad797d3bc4cf536925842f59a3.png

 

Hi Light-of-Truth

As you know, A Phoenix's new book refers to the "Doctor Panurgus" engraving, in which one of the figures bears a resemblance to Sir Francis Bacon, in support of the possibility that Bacon and Droeshout knew each other. The engraving is thought to date from the early 1620s, when Francis was in his early sixties, whereas the man in the engraving looks younger. Droeshout specialist, June Schlueter, is not convinced it is by Martin Droeshout due to the use of two initials (M.D.) to identify the engraver. She thinks it could be by his father, Michael Droeshout, in which case, the engraving could be older than currently assumed.

image.png.31d31f8945347664059cb7d20254e817.png

image.png.4bcb4b9d320ab06f1300f92ca3acefe0.png

image.png.bbb2f9ca5fb44e143542f29820382261.png

Droeshout
Author(s): June Schlueter

Source: Print Quarterly , SEPTEMBER 2010, Vol. 27, No. 3 (SEPTEMBER 2010), pp. 253- 262

Published by: Print Quarterly Publications
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/43746979

 

 

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7 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

Hi Kate

Both the Folger and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust acknowledge that the Janssen portrait is not of Shakespeare, but rather of Sir Thomas Overbury, having been repainted to look like the Droeshout "at some point prior to 1770". If you read all the way down the column on the left of the Folger page it will give you some background on the painting. https://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/detail/FOLGERCM1~6~6~28422~102045:Janssen-Portrait-of-Shakespeare

Here's a brief comment by the SBT about the "Janssen" portrait: https://collections.shakespeare.org.uk/search/museum/strst-sbt-1994-19-69/view_as/grid/search/everywhere:janssen-portrait/page/1

 

 

6 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

 

Hi again Kate. Just to be clear, the "Janssen" was originally an exact copy of the "Cobbe". At some point someone altered (raised) the hairline to make it look like the Droeshout - but both the Janssen and the Cobbe are actually a portrait of Thomas Overbury. I've taken a few extracts from an article which I hope are some help.

image.png.25bbfa25958bfd7bf1ffac535fdf2c52.png

image.png.2e4258535d6017c23a11f101e722de3c.png

image.png.e75bc85dcf784961dab9d1ab25fa5ebd.png

image.png.ae89226ea0f8fa0e1fd423d092648bb3.png

 

The Chandos portrait cannot be confirmed as a portrait of W.S., but the National Gallery have declared it to be the "most likely" portrait we have of the man from Stratford.

The painting is said to be by an amateur. Some have said the sitter has a swarthy Mediterranean look. Whoever the picture represents he looks none to bright to me. So perhaps it could be a portrait of Shaxper after all.

image.png.4372ba5a743c7e3908c6fba1f94551fc.png

Text credit: https://politicworm.com/oxford-shakespeare/expanding-the-question/vizualizing-shakespeare-a-tale-of-two-portraits/

Thank you!

I defer to your superior knowledge on this Eric, but it is clearly a can or worms. Before I read all the info you have kindly supplied here, I had been looking around at more views (on top of everything AP had written too) and it is clearly still a matter of great dispute. The Folger have a ? next to Overbury, Chat GPT vehemently disputes it (whether that's worth anything I'm not sure!) and there's this. 

Gutenberg.png.abc0272f794281f2df9fc4c96a1529f9.png

 

It just makes sense to me that they might have used,  in 1623, an image of Shakespeare (Chandos, Cobbe or Janssen) and then made it look a bit vacant with a mask line around the chin to ear in order to convey that, while it may look like Shakespeare, when one looks more closely, his 'soul' is missing and he looks mask-like (because he was a mask). 

Because of the tunic, I favoured the Janssen. The slight weirdness of the tailoring in Droeshout's version I attributed to him not being great with perspective, as seen from this on Spiritual Warfare ( not the best perspective in the depiction of the Castle) and the guy lying down entering the kiln in the picture further up shows some difficulty with perspective too.

spiritualwarfare.jpg.3ad0c4e864bbf85ef1c66e7521db2101.jpg 

Definitely not trying to say I am right though. Just chatting through where I struggle with being fully convinced that a) The Janssen/Cobbe is Overbury or that Droeshout didn't use one of the 'Shakespeare' pictures as a basic template. I didn't realise quite how many Janssen/Cobbe copies there are, or that it became a thing to change foreheads to look broad and bald!

Thanks again for all the insight. I appreciate it. 

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1 hour ago, Kate said:

It just makes sense to me that they might have used,  in 1623, an image of Shakespeare (Chandos, Cobbe or Janssen) and then made it look a bit vacant with a mask line around the chin to ear in order to convey that, while it may look like Shakespeare, when one looks more closely, his 'soul' is missing and he looks mask-like (because he was a mask). 

I'm in the school of thought that the obvious "mask" line around the face of the Droeshout engraving is because the image is meant to be a mask. It was a joke in 1623 never meant to represent a living or dead person, and still a joke is today. When the First Folio was published, "Shakespeare" was not a person named William. "...Looke Not on his picture, but his booke."

The purpose of the engraving was on another level.

This Figure, that thou here feest put,
It was for gentle Shakespeare cut:
Wherein the Grauer had a strife
with Naure, to out-doo the life:
O, could he but haue dravvne his vvit
As vvell in frasse, as he hath hit
Hisface; the Print vvould then surpasse
All, that vvas euer in frasse.
But, since he cannot, Reader, looke
Not on his picture, but his Booke.

B.J.

Yet, I would love to know everything about the engraving that is possible to know 400 years later. Maybe there is more to discover today? Seems like it has been rehashed over and over for a long time. I am not seeing anything new.

Kate, maybe you will add some new perspective to the same old arguments! I hope so! 🙂

 

 

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2 hours ago, Kate said:

The slight weirdness of the tailoring in Droeshout's version I attributed to him not being great with perspective, as seen from this on Spiritual Warfare ( not the best perspective in the depiction of the Castle) and the guy lying down entering the kiln in the picture further up shows some difficulty with perspective too.

Alamy has the best image I've come across so far. There is a lot going on in there. Is there some Sacred Geometry in the design?

image.png.4bba01aac667e3e38bcbb42ee6a64130.png

https://www.alamy.com/the-battle-of-the-christian-knight-the-battle-of-the-christian-knight-the-knight-is-in-the-middle-of-his-fortress-and-is-assisted-by-armies-among-banners-of-virtuous-ideals-the-castle-is-surrounded-and-besieged-by-the-troops-of-the-devil-who-has-stored-his-tent-in-the-foreground-these-armies-compete-under-the-flag-of-all-sins-and-vices-in-the-foreground-new-soldiers-come-from-the-mouth-of-hell-from-the-left-and-right-sineprent-on-reform-theme-of-approximately-1560-image430228731.html

I would spring for the 22 bucks to buy it for a presentation, but not sure I need to.

😉

One may state that Martin Droeshout was not a master engraver, as it seems many have done, but I suspect the Strats have been planting that seed for many years to distract from the message of the strange face in Shakespeare's First Folio. Art and beauty do not have to fit into a set of rules.

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I see lines and angles. Has anyone ever studied this?

What I do NOT see is a shabby engraver's work whether we understand it or not.

2023-06-20_17-18-17.jpg.ead5a0c250d38db6a5c9c91f0ca14a48.jpg

EDIT:

Might as well share this article on SirBacon.org first posted on Bacon's birthday January 22, 2016:

https://sirbacon.org/The-Prank-of-the-Face.html

PDF: https://sirbacon.org/The-Prank-of-the-Face-Unmasking-the-Droeshout-Portrait-of-William-Shakespeare.pdf

 

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9 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

A Phoenix's new book refers to the "Doctor Panurgus" engraving, in which one of the figures bears a resemblance to Sir Francis Bacon, in support of the possibility that Bacon and Droeshout knew each other. The engraving is thought to date from the early 1620s, when Francis was in his early sixties, whereas the man in the engraving looks younger. Droeshout specialist, June Schlueter, is not convinced it is by Martin Droeshout due to the use of two initials (M.D.) to identify the engraver. She thinks it could be by his father, Michael Droeshout, in which case, the engraving could be older than currently assumed.

Eric, in the "Doctor Panurgus" engraving, this building:

2023-06-20_17-50-38.jpg.02daeae9f0284d978409c0c65ad8d8bf.jpg

Does it represent St Pauls Cathedral?

https://www.classicalimages.com/products/1683-daniel-king-dugdale-antique-print-of-old-st-pauls-cathedral-london-pre-great-fire

image.png.23860de01403025168ff0f23e1c52705.png

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That's so synchronistic that you posted this https://sirbacon.org/The-Prank-of-the-Face-Unmasking-the-Droeshout-Portrait-of-William-Shakespeare.pdf because yesterday morning,  prior to reading Eric's responses, I had been playing around with the Jenssen and Droeshout portrait and made a video just for my own interest. I didn't post it as it was done quickly and crudely, and then seemed redundant given what Eric has said about how the original wasn't bald. However I'll add it in now because, just as Simon Miles says the eyes etc are the same as Elizabeth's, they exactly match here too.

So I started off by lining up the tunic not the face. Then switched to narrowing the Droeshout to see if it better resembled the Janssen and concentrated on the face. Then did it vice versa. I did quite a lot off screen too and found some amazing exact matches and easily managed to make the Droeshout look like a carbon copy of the Janssen through erasing Droeshouts shading on the eyes, nose and lips. However, if Simon found matches in a completely different picture and we could also do the same with the Chandos and others, and AP showed all those exact matches in his book with Bacon too, it really dilutes it being any pointer to anything other then coincidental perspective.

Keep you attention on the curvature from the nose to eyebrow and posiiton of eyes and don't get distracted by eyelid width or larger nostrils.

I'm not claiming anything, Just decided to post it due to the synchronicity of you showing me what Simon had done. If anyone wants to try these things themselves I do it in Powerpoint. Post your pictures to a blank slide and then select the picture and press transparency. You can move one picture across the other and roll your cursor through various levels of transparency.  One day someone is going to hit on something new.

 

Edited by Kate
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Re the Doctor Panurgus picture further up

BaconStay.jpg.74ad4b37a9b1c8e282a82f8e7352f263.jpg

And from AP's magnificent masterpiece, without which many of us would never have known about this Doctor Panurgus picture  https://www.academia.edu/103102421/The_1623_Shakespeare_First_Folio_A_Baconian_Rosicrucian_Freemasonic_Illusion

APPanurgus.jpg.9f9d75513d3b95b4ba8d1b4249ff6996.jpg

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1 hour ago, Kate said:

That's so synchronistic that you posted this https://sirbacon.org/The-Prank-of-the-Face-Unmasking-the-Droeshout-Portrait-of-William-Shakespeare.pdf because yesterday morning,  prior to reading Eric's responses, I had been playing around with the Jenssen and Droeshout portrait and made a video just for my own interest. I didn't post it as it was done quickly and crudely, and then seemed redundant given what Eric has said about how the original wasn't bald. However I'll add it in now because, just as Simon Miles says the eyes etc are the same as Elizabeth's, they exactly match here too.

So I started off by lining up the tunic not the face. Then switched to narrowing the Droeshout to see if it better resembled the Janssen and concentrated on the face. Then did it vice versa. I did quite a lot off screen too and found some amazing exact matches and easily managed to make the Droeshout look like a carbon copy of the Janssen through erasing Droeshouts shading on the eyes, nose and lips. However, if Simon found matches in a completely different picture and we could also do the same with the Chandos and others, and AP showed all those exact matches in his book with Bacon too, it really dilutes it being any pointer to anything other then coincidental perspective.

Keep you attention on the curvature from the nose to eyebrow and posiiton of eyes and don't get distracted by eyelid width or larger nostrils.

 

I'm not claiming anything, Just decided to post it due to the synchronicity of you showing me what Simon had done. If anyone wants to try these things themselves I do it in Powerpoint. Post your pictures to a blank slide and then select the picture and press transparency. You can move one picture across the other and roll your cursor through various levels of transparency.  One day someone is going to hit on something new.

 

Kate, just thought you might find this interesting/amusing, given that you've been experimenting with superimposition. 

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015082254114&view=1up&seq=2&q1=Droeshout

image.png.b7e74bfa9e8c3dcb4d81a1687364a1da.png

 

Edited by Eric Roberts
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4 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

Kate, just thought you might find this interesting/amusing, given that you've been experimenting with superimposition. 

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015082254114&view=1up&seq=2&q1=Droeshout

image.png.b7e74bfa9e8c3dcb4d81a1687364a1da.png

 

Crikey, people have been at it since 1885 then! 😄 Thanks Eric

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59 minutes ago, Kate said:

Crikey, people have been at it since 1885 then! 😄 Thanks Eric

We used to have a cool Flash animation I made in 2004 on SirBacon.org. But Flash went by the wayside some years back...

The one above is not Droeshout but the superimposition possibilities are infinite.

marshall.gif

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On 6/7/2023 at 4:36 AM, Eric Roberts said:

Hi Yann. If you can spare the time, I would be grateful if you could have a look at Pierre Henrion's last essay on the Droeshout portrait. Using the same darts, like compass points, radiating around the ruff/collar that you refer to in your analysis, Henrion employs a 24 alphabetical cypher wheel to derive the name, "BACON". He eliminates one of the six darts as a "null" because it is in shadow. Do you think this is a valid/credible discovery? While on the subject, I'm trying to put together a bibliography of essays on the Droeshout portrait.

If anyone has links or PDFs of texts on the history, aesthetics and/or interpretation of the Droeshout frontispiece, for or against Francis Bacon's authorship of the Shakespeare plays, I'd be most interested and appreciative to see them.

Here is Pierre Henrion's essay from 1986 Baconiana No.186 Dec., pp: 29-33

image.png.803b251ba5eab9d30851eb43648a989a.png

image.png.c6430c322d3006fe2ef99f20708e85a6.png

image.png.3db24baff127d5ddb8a4a5e6752cbde7.png

Any ideas or thoughts on Henrion's unique cypher system above?

 

 

Hi Eric,

My apologies for this late response.

That seems very interesting. I will take a look at it.

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21 minutes ago, Allisnum2er said:

Hi Eric,

My apologies for this late response.

That seems very interesting. I will take a look at it.

Hi Yann. Great to hear from you and to have you back in the B'Hive. Please don't go to any trouble with the Henrion article, unless you want to. Just wondered what you thought about his methods. 🙂

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I would like to share with you some of my thoughts on Doctor Panurgus.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:"Doctor_Panurgus"_curing_the_folly_of_his_patients_by_purgat_Wellcome_L0023713.jpg?uselang=fr

Thanks to the great work of A Phoenix who recently brought to our attention this incredible engraving , I decided to take a closer look at it yesterday and to see if Francis Bacon had concealed more clues in it. Here are the fruits of my research.

2023-06-26.png.ef647a3b90b89a96d361b1e1e46b0c58.png

2023-06-26(1).png.247501db217129e86dfd228acac69b68.png

Interestingly, still playing (for fun) with numbers : 21 spikes of the Tric Trac + the 6 on the card + 30 (the sum of the visible sides of the dices) = 57

57 = FRA. BACON

The two Tobacco pipes remind me an Emblem by Jacob cats in Proteus (1618)

https://emblems.hum.uu.nl/c161812.html

IMG_20230626_224949.jpg.aa1b704fa720693046d1601a1454a789.jpg

From "MORAL EMBLEMS" by John Leighton and Richard Pigot (1860)

To be continued ...

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:"Doctor_Panurgus"_curing_the_folly_of_his_patients_by_purgat_Wellcome_L0023713.jpg?uselang=fr

2023-06-26(2).png.dd8e68a02ffe25a40855f0878d6e371c.png

Here is F.Bacon's Councell :

A Dosis Sir where the ingredients be

Religion Truth plaine dealing Honestie.

Note that we have "plaine dealing" instead of "Plaine dealing" with a capital letter P.

Here plain dealing seems to be an adjective for Honestie.

"plaine dealing Honestie"

By the way, nowadays, "Plain dealing" is synonym of Honest.

Moreover, " Religion" is not one of the ingredients avalaible.

This is , in my view, a part of the code, a hidden reference to the three theological vertues "Faith, Hope and Charity" and to "Piety".

2023-06-26(3).png.4832cc47d64b821d2f3eb190e26ba3b3.png

And here is a last idea ...

Doctor Panurgus holds the "Wisdome" Bottle that ,being a bottle, belongs to the series of Bottles on the top of the Cabinet.

Thus "Understanding" is, in reality, the 26th ingredient.

What is the real number behind the "Wisdome" Bottle ?

2023-06-26(5).png.10cb4764985e197fed4581dc43769fc1.png

 

I think that "Wisdome" is the 7th Bottle, between Reason and Councell.

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48 minutes ago, Allisnum2er said:

Interestingly, still playing (for fun) with numbers : 21 spikes of the Tric Trac + the 6 on the card + 30 (the sum of the visible sides of the dices) = 57

57 = FRA. BACON

🙂

https://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/detail/FOLGERCM1~6~6~1209309~205570:-Works--1616--The-workes-of-Beniami?qvq=w4s:/what%2F%255BWorks.%2B1616%255D%2BThe%2Bworkes%2Bof%2BBeniamin%2BIonson.%2F%255BWorks.%2B1616%255D%2BThe%2Bworkes%2Bof%2BBeniamin%2BIonson.;q:call_number%3D"STC 14751;lc:FOLGERCM1~6~6&mi=72&trs=1045

image.png.7576ce3d9451502f0766b4c15eabb676.png

...for putting such a toy into his head.
WELL. Is a fit simile, a toy ? will he be poyson'd with a simile ? Brother
K I T E L Y, what strange, and idle imagination is this? For shame, bee wiser. O'my soule, there's no such matter.

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12 minutes ago, A Phoenix said:

Good Evening Hi Wizard of B'Hive,

You are the wonder of the Baconian world!

Awesome!

To add, I was longing for the day I hoped for when you, Yann (Allisnum2er) would take this image on! I spent time trying to do what you teach over a few days, with maybe a tiny bit of success, knowing you would connect layers out of my view!!

There is so much! I am longing for Kate to draw some lines, angles and circles.

I have thoughts to share as well. 🙂

 

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