By Shearer West, Mark Leonard, Robyn Asleson, Shelley Bennett
Popular 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 posh public character to advertise her reputation. Her aptitude for self-presentation used to be matched through the showmanship of the numerous artists who portrayed her. right here 3 vigorous essays--by Robyn Asleson, Shelley Bennett, Mark Leonard, and Shearer West--explore Siddons's existence and profession, in addition to her relationships with a few artists. impressive 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 top of her occupation. This lavish quantity additionally brings jointly fifty-five different pics of Siddons together with works via 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
38- See Sylvia Harcstarck Myers, The Bluestocking Circle: Women, Friendship, and the Life of the Mind in Eighteenth-Century England (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990). Interestingly, Myers does not mention Siddons in her study. , Women in the Eighteenth Century-. Constructions of Femininity (London: Routledge, 1990). For the coexistence of Enlightenment classicism and irrationality in an aesthetic context, see Alex Potts, Flesh and the Ideal: Winckelmann and the Origins of Art History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994).
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. Burnim, "The Letters of Sarah and William Siddons to Hester Lynch Piozzi in the John Rylands Library," Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 52 [1969-70]: 55).
Siddons (London: G. Kearsley, 1783), Ig. " For her effect on men, see, for instance, the letter from Maria Siddons to Sally Bird, 8 April 1798, referring to Siddons's performance of Mrs. Haller in The Stranger: "even men sob aloud" (Knapp, Artist's Love Story, 33). Anna Seward to the Rev. Dr. , The Swan ofLichfield: A Selection 3» 51. 52. 53. 54- 55- 56. 57. 58. 59- 60. A Passion for Performance from the Correspondence of Anna Seward (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1936), 68-69. For details of the importance of women as consumers in the theater, see Brewer, Pleasures of the Imagination-, Shearer West, "Women and the Arts in the Eighteenth Century," in La mile, et la transmission des valeurs culturelles au bas moyen age et aux temps modernes (Brussels: Credit communal, 1996), 193 — 205; Leo Hughes, The Drama's Patrons: A Study of the Eighteenth-Century London Audience (Austin: University of Texas Press, I971)- For a contemporary example, see An Address to the Ladies on the Indecency of Appearing at Immodest Plays (London: R.
A Passion For Performance: Sarah Siddons and Her Portraitists by Shearer West, Mark Leonard, Robyn Asleson, Shelley Bennett