By Shearer West, Mark Leonard, Robyn Asleson, Shelley Bennett
Well known for her majestic attractiveness 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 repute. 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 existence and occupation, in addition to her relationships with a couple of artists. outstanding 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 profession. This lavish quantity additionally brings jointly fifty-five different photographs of Siddons together with works through Thomas Gainsborough, George Romney, Thomas Lawrence, and Gilbert Stuart.
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Additional resources for A Passion For Performance: Sarah Siddons and Her Portraitists
I: 317. For her sculptural hairstyle and dress, see Booth, Stokes, and Bassnett, Three Tragic Actresses, 37; and Boaden, Memoirs of Siddons, 2: 290 — 91, who relates her interest in sculpture to her change in dress style from recent fashions to generalized garments. 63. See Boaden, Kemble, 2= 289 and I: 170-71, where he mentions Reynolds's seventh discourse referring to "academic and vulgar styles of acting"; and An Authentic Narrative of Mr. " See also Shearer West, "Thomas Lawrence's 'Half-History' Portraits and the Politics of Theatre," Art History 14 (June 1991): 225—49Although Boaden applied his theory more directly to Kemble, he wrote of Kemble and Siddons as part of the same "school" of acting.
30. 31. : Widener Library, 1943), I. Siddons was reproached for her callous lack of concern for children by her enemy Mrs. Galindo (Catherine Gough Galindo, Letter to Mrs. Siddons [London: privately printed, 1809], 31). Siddons, however, showed a continual anxiety about the health of her daughters and her own inability to spend time with them because of her busy working life. See Oswald G. , An Artist's Love Story (London: George Allen, 1905), 5°; an(l Siddons's letter to Hester Piozzi of 5 January 1794 in which she refers to the "tender reproaches" of her children when she returned from a trip to Dublin (Kalman A.
In lateeighteenth-century theatrical criticism, "picturesque" was used synonymously with the opprobrious word "pantomime" to suggest that the visual effect of the acting took precedence over the content of the play. 73 Certainly Kemble was known for exploiting visual effect on the Figure 2,0. THOMAS CAMPBELL (British, 1790-1858). Sarah Siddons, 1856. 74 In all of these instances, Siddons became an object of aesthetic debate, used as an example of whatever prevailing concern a particular critic or artist might wish to address.
A Passion For Performance: Sarah Siddons and Her Portraitists by Shearer West, Mark Leonard, Robyn Asleson, Shelley Bennett