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Sarah Siddons (née Kemble)

(1755-1831), Actress

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter associated with 38 portraits
Artist associated with 1 portrait
A leading tragic actress and celebrity, Siddons's first major success came in 1782 with her portrayal of Isabella in the Fatal Marriage, written by David Garrick the leading actor-manager of the period. Siddons continued to dominate the London stage until her farewell in 1812. Part of a powerful theatrical dynasty, her brothers were the actors Philip and Charles Kemble, her husband was the actor William Siddons and her son, Henry Siddons was also an actor. She was hailed as the chief interpreter of Shakespeare. Her masterpiece was Lady Macbeth as she excelled in roles that allowed her to combine passionate intelligence with pathos. The critic William Hazlitt proclaimed her 'tragedy personified'.

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Unknown woman, formerly known as Sarah Siddons (née Kemble), by Unknown artist - NPG 2425

Unknown woman, formerly known as Sarah Siddons (née Kemble)

by Unknown artist
pencil and red chalk, late 18th or early 19th century
NPG 2425

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble), by Gilbert Stuart - NPG 50

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble)

by Gilbert Stuart
oil on canvas, 1787
On display in Room 19 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 50

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) in the character of Zara, by John Raphael Smith, published by and after  Sir Thomas Lawrence - NPG D41673

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) in the character of Zara

by John Raphael Smith, published by and after Sir Thomas Lawrence
mezzotint, published 18 June 1783
NPG D41673

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) in the Character of the Tragic Muse, by Thomas Cook, printed for  John Bell - NPG D8466

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) in the Character of the Tragic Muse

by Thomas Cook, printed for John Bell
line engraving, published 7 May 1783
NPG D8466

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) as Melpomene, by James Gillray, published by  James Ridgway - NPG D41671

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) as Melpomene

by James Gillray, published by James Ridgway
etching and aquatint, published 6 December 1784
NPG D41671

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) as Melpomene, by James Gillray, published by  James Ridgway - NPG D19729

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) as Melpomene

by James Gillray, published by James Ridgway
etching and aquatint, published 6 December 1784
NPG D19729

'Mrs Siddons and her Son in the Tragedy of Isabella' (Sarah Siddons (née Kemble); Henry Siddons), by and published by James Caldwall, published by and after  William Hamilton - NPG D41670

'Mrs Siddons and her Son in the Tragedy of Isabella' (Sarah Siddons (née Kemble); Henry Siddons)

by and published by James Caldwall, published by and after William Hamilton
mezzotint, published 1 June 1785
NPG D41670

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble), after Thomas Gainsborough - NPG D41676

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble)

after Thomas Gainsborough
offset lithograph printed in colours, (1785)
NPG D41676

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) as the Tragic Muse, by Francis Haward, after  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG D9069

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) as the Tragic Muse

by Francis Haward, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
stipple engraving, published 1787 (1783-1784)
NPG D9069

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble), by Henry Bone, after  Sir Thomas Lawrence - NPG D17318

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble)

by Henry Bone, after Sir Thomas Lawrence
pencil drawing squared in ink for transfer, 1798 (1798)
NPG D17318

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble), by Henry Bone, after  Sir Thomas Lawrence - NPG D17562

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble)

by Henry Bone, after Sir Thomas Lawrence
pencil and ink drawing squared in ink for transfer, 1798 (1798)
NPG D17562

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble), published by Photographische Gesellschaft, after  Sir Thomas Lawrence - NPG D41672

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble)

published by Photographische Gesellschaft, after Sir Thomas Lawrence
photogravure, 1900 or before (1798)
NPG D41672

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) as the Tragic Muse, by Joseph Webb, published by  Hannah Humphrey, after  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG D41674

Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) as the Tragic Muse

by Joseph Webb, published by Hannah Humphrey, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
hand-coloured mixed-method engraving, published 10 June 1798 (1783-1784)
NPG D41674

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