London: An unseen portrait of the English writer of romantic fiction, Jane Austen, has been claimed to be recovered. A British scholar and a biographer Dr. Paula Byrne has identified a pencil drawing of the ‘Pride and Prejudice’ creator.
The portrait on vellum depicts a woman that Ms. Byrne said bears a “striking family resemblance” to other members of the Austen clan, including a long, straight “Austen nose.”
Digital photographic tools analysis has revealed writing on this new found oil painting that its owners claim shows Jane Austen as a teenage girl.
To identify the finding, three top Jane Austen scholars examined the portrait and two of them, Professor Kathryn Sutherland from Oxford University and Professor Claudia Johnson from Princeton, confirmed that the picture belonged to Austen.
However, renowned art enthusiast and Austen expert Deirdre Le Faye said that the portrait found and seen above courtesy guardian.co.uk is an imaginary one. Supporters of Le Faye believe that the art has since 1910 undergone successive restorations which may have erased crucial clues on the surface.
But critic Angus Stewart, a former curator of an exhibition dedicated to Jane Austen, has seen the evidence and is impressed. "To have all these words revealed on the canvas is very, very strong. I think you`d be flying in the face of reason to deny this," he said.
Jane Austen (1775 -1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction are set amidst the context of the 18th-19th century landed gentry. ‘Sense and Sensibility’ (1811), ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (1813), ‘Mansfield Park’ (1814) and ‘Emma’ (1816) are among her better known works.