24-Hour Museum reports:
Students researching a new display of Tudor portraits in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery have uncovered a ghost figure, which may be Shakespeare's only known patron, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton.
The discovery was made when the portrait was x-rayed for a display of portraits at the National Trust property Montacute House, Somerset, curated by students from Bristol University.
The portrait had been subsequently painted over with a portrait of Elizabeth Vernon, Southampton's wife, by the unknown artist, possibly because a commission for a double portrait of husband and wife was abandoned in favour of the single portrait seen today.
A favourite of Elizabeth I, Henry Wriothesley, (1573 -1624), was the only known patron of Shakespeare, who dedicated his poem Venus and Adonis to him (1593).