1 portrait on display in the Room 29 wallcase at the National Portrait Gallery
published by William Heinemann, after William Nicholson
lithographic reproduction of a hand-coloured woodcut, published 1899 (1897)
10 1/8 in. x 9 7/8 in. (258 mm x 251 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1980
Sitterback to top
- Sarah Henriette Rosine Bernhardt (1844-1923), Actress. Sitter associated with 37 portraits.
Artistsback to top
This portraitback to top
Nicholson began work on this portrait before the French actress arrived in London in June 1897, for the start of her season at the Adelphi Theatre. He used a photograph published in January of that year as a basis for the composition, emphasising the triangular shape of her fastened cape and lending an angularity to her form, which is effectively silhouetted against the stage curtain. Although by the late 1890s Bernhardt's career was beginning to decline, the artist captures the enduring nature of her fame as she confidently tilts her head and stretches out her arms to bow to her audience.
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- William Nicholson: Radical Woodcuts (26 March 2013 - 31 October 2013)
Events of 1899back to top
Current affairsGeorge Nathaniel Curzon, Lord Curzon, is appointed Viceroy of India, pursuing a mixed policy of forceful control and conciliation. Curzon's inquiries into Indian administration result in legislation in areas including education, irrigation, and policing. The Board of Education is created to co-ordinate the work of higher grade elementary schools, county technical schools and endowed grammar schools, also setting up a register of teachers.
Art and scienceThe Italian Guglielmo Marconi transmits the first wireless telegraph, between France and England across the English Channel, a distance of 32 miles. Marconi's production of waves over long distances lays the foundations for the development of the radio. Later this year, Marconi demonstrates his invention in America, at the Cup yacht race, and for the American navy.
InternationalOutbreak of the second Boer war, fought between the British Empire and the two independent Boer Republics of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. Despite a disastrous start, Britain quickly won the war, although guerilla warfare continued until 1902, leading to the introduction of concentration camps by British commander Lord Kitchener, a measure which contributes to the British public's growing disillusionment with the campaign.
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