Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor and theatre director whose career spanned eight decades, who, along with his contemporaries Peggy Ashcroft, Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, dominated the British stage of much of the 20th century. A member of the Terry family theatrical dynasty, he gained his first paid acting work as a junior member of his cousin Phyllis Neilson-Terry's company in 1922. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he worked in repertory theatre and in the West End before establishing himself at the Old Vic as an exponent of Shakespeare in 1929–31. During the 1930s Gielgud was a stage star in the West End and on Broadway, appearing in new works and classics, he began a parallel career as a director, set up his own company at the Queen's Theatre, London. He was regarded by many as the finest Hamlet of his era, was known for high comedy roles such as John Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest. In the 1950s Gielgud feared that his career was threatened when he was convicted and fined for a homosexual offence, but his colleagues and the public supported him loyally.
When avant-garde plays began to supersede traditional West End productions in the 1950s he found no new suitable stage roles, for several years he was best known in the theatre for his one-man Shakespeare show Ages of Man. From the late 1960s he found new plays that suited him, by authors including Alan Bennett, David Storey and Harold Pinter. During the first half of his career, Gielgud did not take the cinema seriously. Though he made his first film in 1924, had successes with The Good Companions and Julius Caesar, he did not begin a regular film career until his sixties. Gielgud appeared in more than sixty films between Becket, for which he received his first Academy Award nomination for playing Louis VII of France, Elizabeth; as the acid-tongued Hobson in Arthur he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His film work further earned him two BAFTAs. Although indifferent to awards, Gielgud had the rare distinction of winning an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, a Tony, he was famous from the start of his mastery of Shakespearean verse.
He broadcast more than a hundred radio and television dramas between 1929 and 1994, made commercial recordings of many plays, including ten of Shakespeare's. Among his honours, he was knighted in 1953 and the Gielgud Theatre was named after him. From 1977 to 1989, he was president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Gielgud was born in South Kensington, the third of the four children and youngest of three sons of Frank Henry Gielgud and his second wife, Kate Terry-Gielgud, née Terry-Lewis; the two elder boys were Lewis, who became a senior official of the Red Cross and UNESCO, Val head of BBC radio drama. On his father's side, Gielgud was of Polish descent; the surname derives from a village in Lithuania. The Counts Gielgud had owned the Gielgudziszki Castle on the River Niemen, but their estates were confiscated after they took part in a failed uprising against Russian rule in 1830–31. Jan Gielgud took refuge in England with his family. Frank married into a family with wide theatrical connections.
His wife, on the stage until she married, was the daughter of the actress Kate Terry, a member of the stage dynasty that included Ellen and Marion Terry, Mabel Terry-Lewis and Edith and Edward Gordon Craig. Frank worked all his life as a stockbroker in the City of London. In 1912, aged eight, Gielgud went to Hillside preparatory school in Surrey as his elder brothers had done. For a child with no interest in sport he acquitted himself reasonably well in cricket and rugby for the school. In class, he hated mathematics, was fair at classics, excelled at English and divinity. Hillside encouraged his interest in drama, he played several leading roles in school productions, including Mark Antony in Julius Caesar and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. After Hillside and Val had won scholarships to Eton and Rugby, respectively, he was sent as a day boy to Westminster School where, as he said, he had access to the West End "in time to touch the fringe of the great century of the theatre". He saw Sarah Bernhardt act, Adeline Genée dance and Albert Chevalier, Vesta Tilley and Marie Lloyd perform in the music halls.
The school choir sang in services at Westminster Abbey. He showed talent at sketching, for a while thought of scenic design as a possible career; the young Gielgud's father took him to concerts, which he liked, galleries and museums, "which bored me rigid". Both parents were keen theatregoers, but did not encourage their children to follow an acting career. Val Gielgud recalled, "Our parents looked distinctly sideways at the Stage as a means of livelihood, when John showed some talent for drawing his father spoke crisply of the advantages of an architect's office." On leaving Westminster in 1921, Gielgud persuaded his reluctant parents to let him take drama lessons on the understanding that if he was not self-supporting by the age of twenty-five he would seek an office post. Gielgud, aged seventeen, joined a private drama school run by Constance Benson, wife of the actor-manager Sir Frank Benson. On the new boy's first day Lady Benson remarked on his physical awkwardness: "she said I walked like a cat with rickets.
It dealt a sev
Sherlock Holmes (1916 film)
Sherlock Holmes is a 1916 American silent film starring William Gillette as Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. The film, directed by Arthur Berthelet, was produced by Essanay Studios in Chicago, it was adapted from the 1899 stage play of the same name, based on the stories, "A Scandal in Bohemia," "The Final Problem," and A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle. All surviving prints of the 1916 film Sherlock Holmes were once thought to be lost. However, on October 1, 2014, it was announced that a copy had been discovered in a film archive in France. A prince, the heir apparent to a large empire, was once the lover of Alice Faulkner's sister. During their love affair, he had written some incriminating letters to her. Alice was given these letters for safe keeping on the deathbed of her sister. Count von Stalburg, the prince's assistant, Sir Edward Palmer, a high British official, have been given the task of negotiating the restitution of the letters to the prince prior to his upcoming marriage.
However, Alice Faulkner is being held captive by the Larrabees, a husband and wife team of crooks who realize the value of the letters and are trying to get them from Alice in order to blackmail the prince. Failing to secure the letters for themselves, they decide to involve Professor Moriarty in the affair; the film unfolds as a battle of wits ensues between Holmes. Dr. Watson is only marginally involved until the final third. Holmes receives more assistance from an associate named a young bellboy named Billy; the film was released in the US as a seven-reel feature. In 1920, after World War I was over and US films were returning to Western European screens, it was released in France in an expanded nine reels format; this was so it could be shown as a popular format at the time. The first episode had three reels; the film is based on the 1899 stage play Sherlock Holmes. Gillette had played the role of Holmes 1,300 times on stage before it was made into a "moving picture", it was he, responsible for much of the costume still associated with the character, notably the deerstalker hat and the calabash pipe.
Sherlock Holmes is believed to be the only filmed record of his iconic portrayal. The 1916 print of Sherlock Holmes had long been considered a lost film. However, on October 1, 2014, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and the Cinémathèque Française announced that a print of the film had been found in the Cinémathèque's collection in Paris; the restoration of the film was overseen by SFSFF board president Robert Byrne in collaboration with the Cinémathèque Française. The French premiere of the restored film took place in January 2015. S. premiere followed in May 2015. The print, found is a nitrate negative of the nine-reel serial with French-language intertitles which were translated from French back into English by Daniel Gallagher in consultation with William Gillette's original 19th century manuscripts, which are preserved at the Chicago History Museum; the film had been mixed up with other Holmes-related media at the Cinémathèque and had been incorrectly labeled. List of rediscovered films Sherlock Holmes on IMDb Sherlock Holmes is available for free download at the Internet Archive "Essanay's advert of the film in the Moving Picture World"
The Adventure of the Naval Treaty
"The Adventure of the Naval Treaty", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 12 stories in the cycle collected as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle ranked "The Adventure of the Naval Treaty" 19th in a list of his 19 favourite Sherlock Holmes stories. Dr. Watson receives a letter, which he refers to Holmes, from an old schoolmate, now a Foreign Office employee from Woking who has had an important naval treaty stolen from his office, it disappeared while Mr. Percy Phelps had stepped out of his office momentarily late in the evening to see about some coffee that he had ordered, his office has two entrances, each joined by a stairway to a single landing. The commissionaire kept watch at the main entrance. There was no-one watching at the side entrance. Phelps knew that his fiancée's brother was in town and that he might drop by. Phelps was alone in the office. Phelps pulled the bell cord in his office to summon the commissionaire, to his surprise the commissionaire's wife came up instead.
He worked at copying the treaty. At last, he went to see the commissionaire, he found him asleep with the kettle boiling furiously. He did not need to wake him up, however, as just the bell linked to his office rang. Realizing that someone was in his office with the treaty spread out on his desk, Phelps rushed back up and found that the document had vanished, so had the thief, it seemed obvious. No footprints were seen in the office despite its being a rainy evening; the only suspect at that point was the commissionaire's wife, who had hurried out of the building at about that same time. This was followed up. Other suspects were Phelps's colleague Charles Gorot. Neither seemed a likely suspect, but the police followed them both, the commissionaire's wife; as expected, nothing came of it. Phelps was driven to despair by the incident, when he got back to Woking, he was put to bed in his fiancée's brother's room. There he remained, sick with "brain fever" for more than two months, his reputation and honour gone.
Holmes is quite interested in this case, makes a number of observations that others seem to have missed. The absence of footprints, for instance, might indicate. There is the remarkable fact that the dire consequences that ought to result from such a treaty being divulged to a foreign government have not happened in all the time that Phelps has been ill. Why was the bell rung? Holmes gathers some useful information at Briarbrae, the Phelps house, where his fiancée, Annie Harrison, her brother Joseph have been staying, she has been nursing him days. Joseph, is along for the ride. After seeing Phelps at Woking, Holmes makes some inquiries in town, he visits Lord Holdhurst, Phelps's uncle, who gave his nephew his important job with the treaty, but Holmes dismisses him as a suspect, is quite sure now that no-one could have overheard their discussion about the job. Lord Holdhurst reveals to Holmes the disastrous consequences that might occur if the treaty should fall into the hands of the French or Russian embassies.
Nothing has yet happened, despite the many weeks since the theft. The thief has not yet sold the treaty, Lord Holdhurst informs Holmes that the villain's time is running out, as the treaty will soon cease to be a secret. Why has the thief not sold the treaty? Holmes returns to Woking, not having given up, but having to report that no treaty has turned up yet. Meanwhile, something interesting has happened at Briarbrae: someone tried to break in during the night, into Phelps's sick room, no less. Phelps surprised him at the window but could not see his face through the hooded cloak that he was wearing, he did, see the interloper's knife as he dashed away. This happened the first night that Phelps felt he could do without the nurse. Unknown to anyone else at this point — although Watson infers it from his friend's taciturnity — Holmes knows what is going on, he orders Annie to stay in her fiancé's sick room all day, to leave it and lock it from the outside when she goes to bed. This she does. Holmes finds a hiding place near Briarbrae to keep watch after having sent Watson and Phelps to London on the train, letting the occupants at Briarbrae believe that he intended to go with them, ostensibly to keep Phelps out of harm's way should the interloper come back.
Holmes waits until about two o'clock in the morning, the interloper appears — out of the house's tradesman's entrance. He goes to the window, gets it open as before, opens a hidden hatch in the floor, pulls out the treaty, he steps straight back out the window and Holmes intercepts him after which they fight with Holmes emerging victorious but having suffered minor injuries. The treaty has been in Phelps's sick room all the time, while the thief, who slept in that room, could not get to it, he rang the bell in Phelps's office after dropping by to visit and finding him not there, but he saw the treaty and its potential value. His inability to reach the treaty explains. Holmes explains that Joseph had lost a great deal of money on the stock market, which explains his need for money. Being a desperate and selfish man, he cared nothing for the consequences Phelps might suffer from the document's loss. Alway
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of the four crime novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes. Serialised in The Strand Magazine from August 1901 to April 1902, it is set on Dartmoor in Devon in England's West Country and tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound of supernatural origin. Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson investigate the case; this was the first appearance of Holmes since his apparent death in "The Final Problem", the success of The Hound of the Baskervilles led to the character's eventual revival. One of the most famous stories written, in 2003, the book was listed as number 128 of 200 on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's "best-loved novel." In 1999, it was listed as the top Holmes novel, with a perfect rating from Sherlockian scholars of 100. Dr. James Mortimer asks Sherlock Holmes for advice after his friend Sir Charles Baskerville was found dead in the park surrounding his manor, in the moors of Devonshire.
The death was attributed to a heart attack but, according to Mortimer, Sir Charles's face retained an expression of horror and not far from the corpse the footprints of a gigantic hound were visible. According to an old legend, a curse runs in the Baskerville family since the time of the English Civil War, when a Sir Hugo Baskerville abducted and murdered a woman in the mires of Dartmoor, only to be killed in turn by a huge demonic hound; the same creature has been haunting the place since, causing the premature death of many Baskerville heirs. Sir Charles believed in the plague of the hound and so does Mr. Mortimer, who now fears for the next in line Sir Henry Baskerville. If he dismisses the whole curse story as nonsense, Holmes accepts to meet Sir Henry in London as soon as the latter arrives from Canada, where his branch of the family had moved in the past; the man is a young and jovial good-looking fellow, skeptical toward the grim legend and eager to take possession of Baskerville Hall if he's just found an anonymous note in the mail, warning him to stay away from the moor.
When someone tries to shoot Sir Henry while he's walking down a street, Holmes asks Watson to go with the young man and Mortimer to Dartmooor, in order to protect Sir Henry and search for any clue about who's menacing his life. The trio arrives to Baskerville Hall, an old and imposing manor in the middle of a vast park, managed by a butler and his wife the housekeeper; the estate is surrounded by the moor and borders the Grimpen Mire, where animals and humans can sink to death in quicksand. The news that a convict has escaped from the local penitentiary and is hiding on the nearby hills, add up to the barren landscape and the gloomy atmosphere. Unexplicable events happen during the first night, keeping the guests awake and only in the daylight Watson and Sir Henry can relax while exploring the neighborhood and meet the scarse but peculiar residents of Dartmoor. Watson keeps on searching for any lead to the identity of whoever's attempting to Sir Henry's life and faithfully wires the details of his investigation to Holmes.
Among the others stand out the Stapletons and sister. Distant howls and strange sightings trouble Watson during his long walks on the hills, his mood gets no better inside Baskerville Hall; the doctor grows suspicious of the butler, who at night acts like he was signaling to someone in the moor with a candle from a window of the house. In the meantime Sir Henry is drawn to Ms. Stapleton, who seems to be afraid of her brother's opinion on the matter. To make the puzzle more complex there are Mr. Mortimer, maybe too eager to convince Sir Henry that the curse is real, an old and grumpy neighbour, who likes to pry with his telescope into other people's houses, a beautiful woman with unclear ties to Sir Charles and a bearded man roaming free in the hills and hiding on a tor where ancient tombs have been excavated by Mr. Stapleton for unclear purpose. For all the good Watson's efforts, it will be Sherlock Holmes in person to connect all the clues and solve the mistery, but not before the spectral hound kills again.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote this story shortly after returning to his home Undershaw from South Africa, where he had worked as a volunteer physician at the Langman Field Hospital in Bloemfontein at the time of the Second Boer War. Conan Doyle had not written about Sherlock Holmes in eight years, having killed off the character in the 1893 story "The Final Problem". Although The Hound of the Baskervilles is set before the latter events, two years Conan Doyle would bring Holmes back for good, explaining in "The Adventure of the Empty House" that Holmes had faked his own death, he was assisted with the plot by a 30-year-old Daily Express journalist named Bertram Fletcher Robinson. His ideas came from the legend of Richard Cabell, of Brook Hall, in the parish of Buckfastleigh, the fundamental inspiration for the Baskerville tale of a hellish hound and a cursed country squire. Cabell's tomb survives in the village of Buckfastleigh. Squire Richard Cabell lived for hunting and was what in those days was described as a'monstrously evil man'.
He gained this reputation for, amongst other things and having sold his soul to the Devil. There was a rumour that he had murdered his wife, Elizabeth Fowell, a daughter of Sir Edmund Fowell, 1st Baronet, of Fowelscombe. On 5 July 1677, he was laid to rest in the sepulchre; the night of his interment saw a phantom pack of hounds come baying across the moor to howl at his tomb. From that night on, he c
Sherlock (TV series)
Sherlock is a British crime drama television series based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson. Thirteen episodes have been produced, with four three-part series airing from 2010 to 2017, a special episode that aired on 1 January 2016; the series is set in the present day, while the one-off special features a Victorian period fantasy resembling the original Holmes stories. Sherlock is produced by the British network BBC, along with Hartswood Films, with Moffat, Sue Vertue and Rebecca Eaton serving as executive producers; the series is supported by the American station WGBH-TV Boston for its Masterpiece anthology series on PBS, where it airs in the United States. The series is filmed in Cardiff, with North Gower Street in London used for exterior shots of Holmes and Watson's 221B Baker Street residence. Sherlock has been praised for the quality of its writing and direction.
It has been nominated for numerous awards including Emmys, BAFTAs and a Golden Globe, winning several awards across a variety of categories. The show won in three categories at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Cumberbatch, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Freeman and Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special for Moffat. Two years it won Outstanding Television Movie. In addition, the show was honoured with a Peabody Award in 2011; the third series became the UK's most watched drama series since 2001. Sherlock has been sold to 180 territories. All of the series have been released on DVD and Blu-ray, alongside tie-in editions of selected original Conan Doyle stories and original soundtrack composed by David Arnold and Michael Price. In January 2014, the show launched. Sherlock depicts "consulting detective" Sherlock Holmes solving various mysteries in modern-day London. Holmes is assisted by his flatmate and friend, Dr John Watson, who has returned from military service in Afghanistan with the Royal Army Medical Corps.
Although Metropolitan Police Service Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade and others are suspicious of Holmes at first, over time, his exceptional intellect and bold powers of observation persuade them of his value. In part through Watson's blog documenting their adventures, Holmes becomes a reluctant celebrity with the press reporting on his cases and eccentric personal life. Both ordinary people and the British government ask for his help. Although the series depicts a variety of crimes and perpetrators, Holmes' conflict with nemesis Jim Moriarty is a recurring feature. Molly Hooper, a pathologist at St. Bart's Hospital assists Holmes in his cases. Other recurring roles include Una Stubbs as Mrs Hudson and Watson's landlady, series co-creator Mark Gatiss as Holmes' elder brother Mycroft. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, Sherlock Holmes fans with experience of adapting or using Victorian literature for television, devised the concept of the series. Moffat had adapted the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for the 2007 series Jekyll, while Gatiss had written the Dickensian Doctor Who episode "The Unquiet Dead".
Moffat and Gatiss, both Doctor Who writers, discussed plans for a Holmes adaptation during their numerous train journeys to Cardiff where Doctor Who production is based. While they were in Monte Carlo for an awards ceremony, producer Sue Vertue, married to Moffat, encouraged Moffat and Gatiss to develop the project themselves before another creative team had the same idea. Moffat and Gatiss invited Stephen Thompson to write for the series in September 2008. Gatiss has criticised recent television adaptations of the Conan Doyle stories as "too reverential and too slow", aiming instead to be as irreverent to the canon as the 1930s and 1940s films starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, which were set in the contemporary interwar era. Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock uses modern technology, such as texting, the internet and GPS to solve crimes. Paul McGuigan, who directed two episodes of Sherlock, says that this is in keeping with Conan Doyle's character, pointing out that "n the books he would use any device possible and he was always in the lab doing experiments.
It's just a modern day version of it. He will use the tools that are available to him today in order to find things out."The update maintains various elements of the original stories, such as the Baker Street address and Holmes's adversary Moriarty. Some of these elements are transposed to the present day: for example, Martin Freeman's Watson has returned from military service in Afghanistan. While discussing the fact that the original Watson was invalided home after serving in the Second Anglo-Afghan War, Gatiss realised that "t is the same war now, I thought; the same unwinnable war."Sherlock was announced as a single 60-minute drama production at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August 2008, with broadcast set for mid to late 2009. The intention was to produce a series of six 60-minute episodes should the pilot prove to be successful; the first version of the pilot—reported by The Guardian to have cost £800,000—led to rumours within the BBC and wider media that Sherlock was a potential disaster.
The BBC decided not to transmit the pilot, requesting a reshoot and a total of three 90-minute episodes. The original pilot was included on the DVD of the first series. During the audio commentary, the creative team said that the BBC were "very happy" with the pilot but asked them to change the format. Cri
The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, described as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world." The Mona Lisa is one of the most valuable paintings in the world. It holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known insurance valuation in history at US$100 million in 1962; the painting is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, is in oil on a white Lombardy poplar panel. It had been believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506. Recent academic work suggests that it would not have been started before 1513, it was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic, on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris since 1797. The subject's expression, described as enigmatic, the monumentality of the composition, the subtle modelling of forms, the atmospheric illusionism were novel qualities that have contributed to the continuing fascination and study of the work.
The title of the painting, known in English as Mona Lisa, comes from a description by Renaissance art historian Giorgio Vasari, who wrote "Leonardo undertook to paint, for Francesco del Giocondo, the portrait of Mona Lisa, his wife." Mona in Italian is a polite form of address originating as "ma donna" – similar to "Ma’am", "Madam", or "my lady" in English. This became "madonna", its contraction "mona"; the title of the painting, though traditionally spelled "Mona", is commonly spelled in modern Italian as Monna Lisa, but this is rare in English. Vasari's account of the Mona Lisa comes from his biography of Leonardo published in 1550, 31 years after the artist's death, it has long been the best-known source of information on the provenance of the work and identity of the sitter. Leonardo's assistant Salaì, at his death in 1524, owned a portrait which in his personal papers was named la Gioconda, a painting bequeathed to him by Leonardo; that Leonardo painted such a work, its date, were confirmed in 2005 when a scholar at Heidelberg University discovered a marginal note in a 1477 printing of a volume written by the ancient Roman philosopher Cicero.
Dated October 1503, the note was written by Leonardo's contemporary Agostino Vespucci. This note likens Leonardo to renowned Greek painter Apelles, mentioned in the text, states that Leonardo was at that time working on a painting of Lisa del Giocondo. In response to the announcement of the discovery of this document, Vincent Delieuvin, the Louvre representative, stated "Leonardo da Vinci was painting, in 1503, the portrait of a Florentine lady by the name of Lisa del Giocondo. About this we are now certain. We cannot be certain that this portrait of Lisa del Giocondo is the painting of the Louvre." The model, Lisa del Giocondo, was a member of the Gherardini family of Florence and Tuscany, the wife of wealthy Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo. The painting is thought to have been commissioned for their new home, to celebrate the birth of their second son, Andrea; the Italian name for the painting, La Gioconda, means "jocund" or "the jocund one", a pun on the feminine form of Lisa's married name, "Giocondo".
In French, the title La Joconde has the same meaning. Before that discovery, scholars had developed several alternative views as to the subject of the painting; some argued that Lisa del Giocondo was the subject of a different portrait, identifying at least four other paintings as the Mona Lisa referred to by Vasari. Several other women have been proposed as the subject of the painting. Isabella of Aragon, Cecilia Gallerani, Costanza d'Avalos, Duchess of Francavilla, Isabella d'Este, Pacifica Brandano or Brandino, Isabela Gualanda, Caterina Sforza—even Salaì and Leonardo himself—are all among the list of posited models portrayed in the painting; the consensus of art historians in the 21st century maintains the long-held traditional opinion that the painting depicts Lisa del Giocondo. Leonardo da Vinci is thought to have begun painting the Mona Lisa in 1503 or 1504 in Florence, Italy. Although the Louvre states that it was "doubtless painted between 1503 and 1506", the art historian Martin Kemp says there are some difficulties in confirming the actual dates with certainty.
In addition, many Leonardo experts, such as Carlo Pedretti and Alessandro Vezzosi, are of the opinion that the painting is characteristic of Leonardo's style in the final years of his life, post-1513. Other academics argue that, given the historical documentation, Leonardo would have painted the work from 1513. According to Leonardo's contemporary, Giorgio Vasari, "after he had lingered over it four years, left it unfinished". Leonardo in his life, is said to have regretted "never having completed a single work". Circa 1504, Raphael executed a pen and ink sketch, today in the Louvre Museum, in which the subject is flanked by large columns. Experts universally agree. Other copies of the Mona Lisa, such as those in the National Museum of Art and Design in Oslo and The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore display large flanking columns; as a result, it was thought that the Mona Lisa in the Louvre had side columns and had been cut. However, as early as 1993, Zöllner observed; this was confirmed through a series of tests conducted in 2004.
William Hooker Gillette was an American actor-manager and stage-manager in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is best remembered for portraying Sherlock Holmes on stage and in a 1916 silent film thought to be lost until it was rediscovered in 2014. Gillette's most significant contributions to the theater were in devising realistic stage settings and special sound and lighting effects, as an actor in putting forth what he called the "Illusion of the First Time", his portrayal of Holmes helped create the modern image of the detective. His use of the deerstalker cap and the curved pipe became enduring symbols of the character, he assumed the role on stage more than 1,300 times over thirty years, starred in the silent motion picture based on his Holmes play, voiced the character twice on radio. His first Civil War drama Held by the Enemy was a major step toward modern theater, in that it abandoned many of the crude devices of 19th century melodrama and introduced realism into the sets, costumes and sound effects.
It was produced at a time when the British had a low opinion of American art in any form, it was the first wholly American play with a wholly American theme to be a critical and commercial success on British stages. William Gillette was born in Nook Farm, Connecticut, a literary and intellectual center with residents such as Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Dudley Warner. Gillette's father Francis had been a United States Senator and a crusader for public education, the abolition of slavery, women's suffrage, his mother Elisabeth Daggett Hooker was a descendant of the Reverend Thomas Hooker, the English-born Puritan leader who founded the town of Hartford and either wrote or inspired the first written constitution in history to form a government. Gillette had a sister. Another sister named, his eldest brother Frank Ashbell Gillette went to California and died there in 1859 from consumption. The third oldest brother Robert joined the Union Army and served in the Antietam campaign, was invalided home sick and joined the Navy.
Robert Gillette was assigned to the U. S. S. Gettysburg and took part in both assaults on Fort Fisher, he was killed the morning after the surrender of the fort. His brother Edward moved to Iowa and his sister Elisabeth married George Henry Warner, both in 1863, after which William was the only child in the household. At the age of 20, he left Hartford to begin his apprenticeship as an actor, he worked for a stock company in New Orleans and returned to New England where, on Mark Twain's own recommendation, he debuted at the Globe Theater of Boston with Twain's stage-play The Gilded Age in 1875. Afterward, he was a stock actor for six years through Boston, New York, the Midwest, he irregularly attended classes at a few institutions. His father Francis had held the strongest objections to the theater in general, but he offered the least resistance and drove him to the train station, telling his son that he had driven two other sons to this same station and they had never returned. Francis supplied him with an allowance on.
His father's health began to fail in 1878, William forsook the stage for more than a year to care for him in his final illness. Upon his father's death, he and George Henry Warner were named executors of Francis' estate, they and Edward shared in the inheritance. In 1882, Gillette married Helen Nichols of Detroit, she died in 1888 from peritonitis caused by a ruptured appendix. The couple did not have any children and he never remarried. Gillette was hired as playwright and actor for $50 per week in 1881, while performing at Cincinnati, by two of the Frohman brothers and Daniel; the first play that he wrote and produced was The Professor. It debuted in the Madison Square Theatre, lasting 151 performances, with a subsequent tour through many states; that same year, he produced Esmeralda, written together with Frances Hodgson Burnett. Early in his career, Gillette realised that it would be in the triple role of playwright and actor that he could make the most money, he was among the premier matinee idols of his day, was described by Amy Leslie as "one of Gibson's notables materialized".
Lewis Clinton Strang observed that "he gesticulates, his bodily movements seem purposely slow and deliberate. His composure is absolute and his mental grasp of a situation is complete."He could mesmerize an audience by standing motionless and in complete silence, or by indulging in any one of his grand gestures or subtle mannerisms. He did not gesture but, when he did, it meant everything, he would steal a scene with a mere nod, a shrug, a glance, a twitching of the fingers, a compression of his lips, or a hardening of his face. Slight inflections in his voice spoke wonders. "Occasionally", Georg Schuttler pointed out, "when it was least expected, he gestured or moved his body so that the speed of the action was compared to the swift opening and closing of a camera's shutter." S. E. Dahlinger, leading expert on the play Sherlock Holmes, summed him up: "Without seeming to raise his voice or to force an emotion, he could be thrilling without bombast or infinitely touching without descending to sentimentality.
One of his greatest strengths as an actor was the ability to say nothing at all on the stage, relying instead on an involved, inner contemplation of an emotional or comic cris