By Shearer West, Mark Leonard, Robyn Asleson, Shelley Bennett
Well known for her majestic good looks and impassioned performances, the English actress Sarah Siddons (1755-1831) revolutionized the aesthetics of eighteenth-century theater whereas inventing a fancy public personality to advertise her popularity. Her aptitude for self-presentation used to be matched by way of the showmanship of the various artists who portrayed her. right here 3 vigorous essays--by Robyn Asleson, Shelley Bennett, Mark Leonard, and Shearer West--explore Siddons's lifestyles and profession, in addition to her relationships with a few artists. awesome between them used to be Sir Joshua Reynolds, whose masterpiece Sarah Siddons because the Tragic Muse grew to become an icon of this nice actress on the height of her occupation. This lavish quantity additionally brings jointly fifty-five different pics of Siddons together with works by means of Thomas Gainsborough, George Romney, Thomas Lawrence, and Gilbert Stuart.
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Extra resources for A Passion For Performance: Sarah Siddons and Her Portraitists
Sarah Siddons, 1812,. ). more than just the effect of fashionable aesthetic trends. The fact that London, The Gonway her acting could serve such diverse aesthetic functions is itself a testa- Library, The Gourtald Insti- ment to her versatility. Furthermore, Siddons was not simply a passive object of aesthetic criticism but an active participant in creating her tute of Art. With the permission of the Governors of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. 28 A Passion for Performance Figurre 22. own image.
I: 214 — 26. Boaden, Memoirs of Siddons, 2: 133Fuseli's study of Siddons as Lady Constance was sold at Sotheby's on 3 April 1996, lot 2O. On Siddons's androgynous dress as Rosalind, see Boaden, Memoirs of Siddons, 2= 166. Early in her career, Siddons was well known for her portrayal of Hamlet on the provincial circuit, and she performed male Shakespearean characters again in public readings after her retirement. Indeed, one of Garrick's main concerns on employing her initially at Drury Lane was her skill in breeches roles (see Henry Bate to David Garrick, 12 August 1775, Add.
4243. 44. 45- 1985). , 9 — IO. , 17, 13. , 43-44)46. 47- 4849- quoted in Manvell, Siddons, 23 — 24)- During the height of her career, however, she tended to avoid the more popular breeches parts—many of which were associated with comic actresses like Dorothy Jordan. , Beauties of Siddons, 12 — 13; Boaden, Memoirs of Siddons, I: 315; and Campbell, Siddons, I: 2O8. , 158. , Reminiscences of Siddons, 3[William Russell], The Tragic Muse: A Poem Addressed to Mrs. Siddons (London: G. Kearsley, 1783), Ig.