Let’s face it. Cassandra Austen’s tiny watercolour of her famous sister simply does not satisfy viewers. Jane Austen’s fans have been dying to find another authentic portrait of their favorite author. Has Dr. Paula Byrne accomplished this task? The Guardian.UK features an article with an imaginary portrait that Dr. Byrne believes was drawn from life.
The portrait drawing, in graphite on vellum, had been in a private collection for years, and was being auctioned as an “imaginary portrait” of Austen, with “Miss Jane Austin” written on the back. “When my husband bought it he thought it was a reasonable portrait of a nice lady writer, but I instantly had a visceral reaction to it. I thought it looks like her family. I recognised the Austen nose, to be honest, I thought it was so striking, so familiar,” Byrne told the Guardian.
Compare this portrait with images of Jane’s family and of Jane herself.