Image public domain. David Lasocki and Roger Prior, The Bassanos: Venetian Musicians and Instrument makers in England 1531–1665 (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1995). For all the 24-hour surveillance and gate-locking, the Venetian ghettos were porous, as the But however we read Shylock’s portrait—and there is scholarly debate on the issue—the author wouldn’t have to be a Jew or even have associated with any Jews to create Shylock. John Hudson, 'Amelia Bassano Lanier: A New Paradigm', The Oxfordian 11 (2008): 65–82. Descriptive line Portrait miniature of an unknown woman, watercolour on vellum, painted by Nicholas Hilliard, ca. Jewish use of window space to look out was judged blasphemous, with Jews accused of “committing irreverent acts against Christ and Christians” (76). She was the first Englishwoman to assert herself as a professional poet, through a single volume of poems, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611). Could the portrait of the Semitic-looking "Unknown Lady" at the top of this page, painted by Isaac Oliver (c. 1595-1600), be of Emilia Bassano Lanyer? Mama Kelly's 10th great-grandfather was Jeronimo Bassano, a musician and instrument maker who was born in the town of Bassano del Grappa, near Venice, Italy. Victoria & Albert Museum, London. She would have been between 26 and 31 years old at the time. In 2014, he published Shakespeare’s Dark Lady: Amelia Bassano Lanier, ... and the father is now called Baptista (the name of Bassano’s father). Another miniature by Nicholas Hilliard in the V&A’s collection (museum no. The Countess's sons were referenced in literature, as well; William may be the young man alluded to in Shakespeare's Sonnets, and Ben Jonson also dedicated a collection of epigrams to him. Much has been written about this Bassano… 1590. Stephanie Hopkins Hughes, 'New Light on the Dark Lady' Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter, 22 September (2000). (Thanks to Lev Verkhovsky for finding it and suggesting the possibility.) P.134-1910) has also been suggested as a portrait of Amelia or Emilia Bassano, born Lanier. The above portrait has been shared around the world as a depiction of Emilia Bassano after being published on Facebook by Ansell Ortell in 2015, with the assertion that Emilia was the sole author of the Shakespearean works. Emilia Lanier (also spelt Aemilia or Amelia Lanyer, 1569–1645), née Bassano, was an English poet in the early modern era. The inference is that Emilia Bassano was a Blackamoor, A portrait miniature of Amelia Bassano Lanyer/Lanier. origin—like the author Amelia Bassano Lanier at the Elizabethan court.) Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. But a picture by Nicholas Hilliard, the most celebrated of English miniaturists, on display in the V&A's British Galleries may hold the key. Amelia Bassano Lanier, a poet in Queen Elizabeth’s court who featured in some of Shakespeare’s sonnets as “The Dark Lady”, is the name in the frame. My great-grandmother Mama Kelly (Mary Pearl Harrison Kelly) had a really interesting family tree that can be traced way back to Renaissance Italy.