By Shearer West, Mark Leonard, Robyn Asleson, Shelley Bennett
Popular for her majestic attractiveness and impassioned performances, the English actress Sarah Siddons (1755-1831) revolutionized the aesthetics of eighteenth-century theater whereas inventing a posh public character 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. the following 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 couple of artists. impressive between them used to be Sir Joshua Reynolds, whose masterpiece Sarah Siddons because the Tragic Muse turned an icon of this nice actress on the top of her profession. This lavish quantity additionally brings jointly fifty-five different graphics of Siddons together with works by way of Thomas Gainsborough, George Romney, Thomas Lawrence, and Gilbert Stuart.
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Additional info for A Passion For Performance: Sarah Siddons and Her Portraitists
ANONYMOUS. ). London, The British Museum. the real impact of her performances was only a memory. PUBLIC and Private Roles THE QUEEN ON HER GILDED THRONE: ARISTOCRATIC FANTASIES AND BOURGEOIS AUDIENCES T he transformation of Siddons from an awkward provincial actress to a self-possessed star, compared with queens and goddesses, was a particularly important part of her success, but one glossed over in her own memoirs and by her biographers Boaden and Campbell. 79 The dissonance between this image of Siddons as queenly and the reality of a life characterized by provincial origins, unhappiness, scandalous rumors, and obsession with money was overcome in her subsequent historiography.
34- 3536. with underlines for emphasis, see Ffrench, Siddons, 66-67. See Anthony Fletcher, Gender, Sex, and Subordination in England, IgOO —l8oO (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995). Boaden, Memoirs of Siddons, 2: Il6, 29O. , ed. : Harvard University Press, 1960), 2 = 52° (entry of 9 June 1831); and James Boaden, Memoirs of Mrs. Inchbald, 2 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1833), I: 71. 37. 38- See Sylvia Harcstarck Myers, The Bluestocking Circle: Women, Friendship, and the Life of the Mind in Eighteenth-Century England (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990).
Reviews of Siddons's early acting style show that she drew upon the "points" of her predecessors, but she furthered the emotional effect of the action by moving rapidly between passions or endeavoring to convey several passions simultaneously. Her "versatility of countenance" caused comment, 42 and the effect of this malleability was stimulating to audiences. —her shrieks of horror . . " 43 As Zara in Gongreve's Mourning Bride, she exhibited "the combining passions of love, rage and jealousy" as well as "the contention .
A Passion For Performance: Sarah Siddons and Her Portraitists by Shearer West, Mark Leonard, Robyn Asleson, Shelley Bennett