Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Molti Ritratti: Ellen Terry

Dame Ellen Terry (1847-1928), one of England's more important actresses in her day, had portraits painted of her by some lesser-known artists and by two famous ones. One of the famous ones, George Frederic Watts, was her first husband, marrying her shortly before her 17th birthday. They lived together less than a year. These and other details can be found in her lengthy Wikipedia entry.

The two most famous portraits of Terry are Watts' "Choosing" and Sargent's "Lady Macbeth." They are probably the best, as well. The two others by Watts strike me as a bit too smudged.

I include some photographs of Terry at various ages for comparison.


Photo at age 16

Photo at age 33

Photo at age 43

By G.F. Watts - "Choosing"

By G.F. Watts
Paintings by Watts were made around 1864 while they were living together.

By Johnston Forbes-Robertson - 1876

By Edward Matthew Hale - Sketch of Ellen Terry at Halliford - 1881

By John Singer Sargent - sketch of Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth - 1889
Note Sargent's dedication to Terry at the lower right corner.

By John Singer Sargent - Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth - 1889

By Douglas F. Robinson - 1905

By Clare Atwood - Dame Ellen Terry Aged 79 - c.1926
Atwood was a companion of Terry's daughter.

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