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Discovery of Rare Portrait Prompts TV Special

Dec 6, 2011  •  Post A Comment

The discovery of a rare portrait has become the focus of a TV special, reports The New York Times’ ArtsBeat blog.

The portrait of English novelist Jane Austen was found by author Paula Byrne, who has written a new biography of Austen. The discovery prompted a BBC television special, the story reports.

Only two previous portraits of Austen are recognized, including a watercolor sketch by her sister, the story notes. Byrne says the new drawing, made with pencil on vellum, shows a woman with a "striking" resemblance to other Austen family members, the piece adds.

The BBC will create a TV special called "Jane Austen: The Unseen Portrait?," which will look at the drawing and the author’s life, the story says. The portrait was bought at auction by Byrne’s husband, Oxford literature professor Jonathan Bate, according to the piece.

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