Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Paintings of Sarah Bernhardt


Sarah Bernhardt by Paul Merton

Sarah Bernhardt was a French actress who lived from 1844-1923.

Sarah Bernhardt in the Role of Cleopatra by Georges Clairin

She was greatly admired for her stage presence, her striking poses, and her emotional presentation.

Sarah Bernhardt by Jules Bastien-Lepage

Because of her striking appearance and theatricality, she was a favorite model of artists of the period.

Sarah Bernhardt by Georges Antoine Rochegrosse

Rochegrosse painted her several times in Orientalist mode.

Sarah Bernhardt by Georges Antoine Rochegrosse

In this one she reclines in a chinois interior.

Poster design by Alphonse Mucha

She chose a young Alphonse Mucha to create one of her posters, and the image was a sensation, making both of them much more famous.

Alphonse Mucha

Mucha went on to do many portrayals of her in various guises.

Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt as Roxanna by Walford Graham Robertson (1866-1948) 

The playwright Edmond Rostand referred to her as "the queen of the pose and the princess of the gesture." 

Sarah Bernhardt by Georges Clairin

Victor Hugo said she had a "golden voice."

She's one of the first actors from the period who appeared in silent movies.

Her voice also appears fleetingly in sound recordings. It sounds strange to our ears, but in her day it brought people to tears.
Book: Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama (Yale University Press) 


Susan Krzywicki said...

Interesting how each image of her is strikingly different, as if each artist was seeing a vision of something/someone else.

Srob said...

And don’t forget sargent’s painting