Now I really had to share this, being a complete wank about Shakespeare:
Is Deceptive Portrait Tied to Shakespeare? New York Times May 6, 2002
In his essay "Shakespeare's Sonnets," the poet W. H. Auden dwells on Southampton's narcissism, noting that the young man probably knew he had some power over Shakespeare but was unaware of the intensity of feelings he aroused. Southampton gives the impression, Auden writes, of being "a young man who was not really very nice, very conscious of his good looks, able to switch on the charm at any moment, but essentially frivolous, cold-hearted and self-centered."
What makes this anonymous portrait of Southampton interesting, then, is the belief that it shows him as he looked when he first became Shakespeare's patron and, perhaps, the muse of the
"If you believe that the young man addressed in the sonnets was Henry Wriothesley," Mr. Holden quoted Sir Frank as saying, "there is the additional thrill that this could be the face that Shakespeare fell in love with, perhaps wishing its owner was a girl. The magnitude of the thrill depends on how much you think the identity of the young person matters to the poems. Many think it matters a lot."