This famous image is of a fabricated
man. A double-line on the right
cheek reveals the face as
nothing but a mask.
In Ben Jonson's introduction to the 1623 Folio, he
describes "the engraver having a strife with Nature to
out-doo the life, he hath hit his face." The letters on
the portrait total 157, the numerological seal of the
According to Alfred Dodd, "This Figure
that thou here seest put, was CUT for gentle Shakespeare
(as a Mask for the true Author), the engraver having a
strife with Nature to do-out the life. He hath HID his
face." ("Hit" = hid in old English).
"The quotation is from the Dedication verse to the
"Print" by "B.I." usually believed to indicate Ben
Jonson. The Capitals serve equally as well for "Baconis
Inventus." They actually stood to the Rosicrosse-Mason
for the "B . . . and J . . . " which guard certain
secrets in a Temple of Knowledge, the total letters on
the poem-page counting 287,
the Rosicrosse Seal, some of the "W's" being printed as
"VV" to obtain the correct count by adding two letters
instead of one."
The following facts are significant:
1. The letters on the Portrait page total
the second Seal of the Rosicrosse.
2. There were no collars of the type
shown in the print in those days.
the Stratford man may have looked
3. It is shaped "B" to indicate "Bacon."
4. The edge of the Mask is seen on the right by an
unnecessary double line.
5. The length of the face is out of all proportion to the
6. There is no neck.
7. The "Body" is a "Tailor's Dummy" on which a Mask rests
out of alignment.
8. The engraving shows an impossible Coat for the
shoulder-breasts do not correspond, one being a left
front-breast and the other a left front-back. They are a
mute indication of two left arms and hands, that the
Author writes "left-handedly" and that the reader stands
behind . . . by the left side of a man whose face cannot