contact print on gold-toned printing-out paper, 1899
10 5/8 in. x 13 3/8 in. (270 mm x 340 mm)
acquired Victoria & Albert Museum, 1998
Sitterback to top
- Emilie Charlotte ('Lillie') Langtry (née Le Breton) (1853-1929), Actress and professional beauty. Sitter in 56 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Lafayette (Lafayette Ltd) (founded 1880), Photographers. Artist associated with 6907 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- 100 Fashion Icons, p. 13
- Pepper, Terence, High Society: Photographs 1897-1914, 1998 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 30 January to 21 June 1998), p. 53 Read entry
Here Lillie Langtry wears a costume by Worth for her role as Mrs Trevelyan in Sydney Grundy’s play The Degenerates, which was first performed at the Haymarket Theatre, London, on 31 August 1899. The theatre was filled to capacity for the six-week run and transferred to the Garrick Theatre with similar success. The play, a satire on smart society, was partly based on Lillie’s life. This studio portrait was taken shortly before its presentation in New York, where it opened at the Garden Theatre on 15 January 1900.
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- The Beautiful and the Damned (6 June 2001 - 7 October 2001)
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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