The face of Keats

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

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The face of Keats

Postby Saturn » Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:01 am

Post here pictures of Keats you have found, be it photographs or your own paintings, drawings etc.

To start off I've googled a few pictures for you - some are clearly posthumus, some well known ones by Severn, Haydon and Brown and some obviously sentimentalised by later artists:

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What the hell - is that supposed to be Keats? :roll:
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If you find any more please post them, or if you dont know how to please e-mail them to me and I will make sure they are posted.
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Re: The face of Keats

Postby Despondence » Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:23 am

Stephen Saturn wrote:Image
What the hell - is that supposed to be Keats? :roll:

Almost looks like you..
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Postby Saturn » Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:29 am

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo :lol:
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Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:33 am

hmmm. . . that one looks a heck of a lot like the one of John Hamilton Reynolds in the Motion biography. . .

EDIT: Aha! And so we have it: http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/portrait.asp?LinkID=mp04039&rNo=0&role=art from the NPG. Curiously enough, also by Severn :wink:
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Postby Malia » Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:12 am

OK, the 6th portrait down on your list of faces, Stephen, really freaks me out. Oh my god, if Keats actually looked like *that* then Fanny Brawne must have been BLIND to fall in love with him.

That's a good example of a portrait that would cause *me* to have a "psalm singing nightmare" (to quote Mr. Keats :) )

Thankfully, there are better representations. (Whew!) And lucky us, we have the life mask which shows just how masculine a face he really had. My favorite of all the likenesses of Keats that I've seen is the Haydon sketch. To me, that captures his strong features, his sensitive mouth and his focused gaze the best. (Well, I guess Severn's sketch catches the gaze a little better--but not the masculine energy.)

Does anyone else have a favorite likeness?
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Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:19 am

I think Haydon's is probably my favorite as well. . . though I also really love Severn's portrait of Keats reading, mainly for the fact that it's such a complete statement with both the subject and the environment.
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Postby Saturn » Thu Jan 19, 2006 10:37 am

Malia wrote:OK, the 6th portrait down on your list of faces, Stephen, really freaks me out. Oh my god, if Keats actually looked like *that* then Fanny Brawne must have been BLIND to fall in love with him.

That's a good example of a portrait that would cause *me* to have a "psalm singing nightmare" (to quote Mr. Keats :) )


He does look curiously feminine in that one :roll:

My favourite I have to say is the Severn one of him reading with a book on his knee [no. 18] - how often have I not sat in that same attitude myself?
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Postby Saturn » Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:20 am

Thanks to Malia for this one - a silhouette of Keats when he was 15 apparently taken from the Amy Lowell biography [I don't have that one, so I've never seen it before]

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Postby Guest » Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:41 pm

Thanks for posting the silhouette, Stephen. I've found three other relatively obscure "graphics"--one is a silhouette by Leigh Hunt's wife, one is a rough sketch found in his brother Tom's diary, and the other is a watercolor of Keats on board the Maria Crowther. The first two are from the Lowell bio and the watercolor I found in an obscure biography about Joseph Severn. I will try and get those scanned tonight or tomorrow and send them over to Stephen for posting. :)
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Postby Malia » Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:21 pm

Oy, again that guest who wrote the above is me. I've got to remember to log in before I type :roll:
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Postby Despondence » Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:39 am

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This is a photo of a drawing in a book, which I took with my dejikame (I don't have a scanner). Sorry if the focus isn't perfect ;)
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Postby Saturn » Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:40 am

That's excellent Despondence - looks even better than what my scanner can do :shock:
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Postby Malia » Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:51 pm

That is a great photo (amazing resolution!), Despondence. Do you know who drew the picture? What book did it come from?

It's so neat to see all of these different drawings of Keats. . .I didn't realize there were so many out there!
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Postby Credo Buffa » Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:35 pm

There's a recent edition of Keats selected letters that has another interpretation on it that I rather like.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067400 ... 5&v=glance

If anyone can figure out how to get the picture of the cover on here rather than that massive link (I tried a "save target as" but Amazon had a one-up on me there), be my guest :)
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Postby Malia » Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:39 pm

That is a great dramatic representation of Keats, Credo Buffa. I like it :) Kind of reminds me of what Hamlet looks like in my mind's eye. Knowing how Keats identified with Hamlet, I think that connection is not an unrealistic one.
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