X-rays uncover 'hidden portrait' of Shakespeare benefactor

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A rare portrait, believed to be of Shakespeare's only known patron, has been discovered using X-ray technology.

Art historians from Bristol University have found what they believe is a picture of Henry Wriothesley which was painted over in the 16th Century.

To the naked eye, it is a portrait of his wife Elizabeth Vernon, dressed in black and wearing ruby ear-rings.
The hidden picture was uncovered when the work was X-rayed in preparation for an exhibition in Somerset.

Radiography revealed that underneath the oil portrait of Elizabeth I's maid of honour was a ghostly male figure - an older work which had been painted over.

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