The Actress in British Art and Culture 1776–1812
Imprint: Paul Mellon Centre
Series: Studies in British Art
In this interdisciplinary volume, historians of art, literature, dress, and theater examine the impact of the actress on British art and culture of the Georgian era. From the celebrated doyennes of the stage to the demireps on the periphery of the profession, female performers are shown to have played a vital and hitherto under-appreciated role in the artist’s studio, forging fruitful collaborations with leading artists and becoming nearly as influential in the studio as on the stage. Acting as models, muses, and patrons, actresses inspired a remarkable proliferation of images in which issues of theatricality, sexuality, and social mobility were explored in ways that were impossible in depictions of more “respectable” women.