The Flower Portrait is part of the RSC's Art Collection and is an early 19th century oil painting on a wooden panel over a mediaeval Italian painting of the Madonna and Child with St John, presented to the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre by Mrs C. Flower in 1895.
There are only two portraits of Shakespeare which were produced in the lifetime of his contemporaries. They are the monument at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon and the engraving by Martin Droeshout which appeared as the frontispiece of the First Folio in 1623. The 'Flower' Portrait was once believed to be the original portrait from which the Droeshout engraving was copied. It is now thought to be based on that engraving.