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The Actress Sarah Bernhardt
  • The Actress Sarah Bernhardt

    TitleThe Actress Sarah Bernhardt
  • Technique/ MaterialOil on canvas
  • DimensionsDimensions: (h x b) 47 x 33 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 70 x 56 x 9 cm
    Trpram: (h x b x dj) 57,3 x 43,2
  • Artist/Maker Artist: Jules Bastien-Lepage, French, born 1848, dead 1884
  • Depicted PersonSarah Bernhardt, French, born 1844, dead 1923
  • CategoryPaintings, Paintings
  • Classificationpainting
  • Inventory No.NM 4096
  • AcquisitionGift 1945 director Thorsten Laurin through Nationalmusei Vänner
  • Description
    Artist/Maker
    Images and media

    The greatest star of the era was the French actress Sarah Bernhardt. “The Divine Sarah”, as she was called, is reputed to have posed 40 times before Bastien-Lepage had completed the final version of this portrait, which was shown at the Salon in 1879. The sittings took place in the apartment of the actress on rue Fortuny in Paris. In the final portrait, Berhardt is looking down at a statuette of Orpheus – an allusion to her profession, her voice, and her efforts as an amateur sculptress. This painting is thought to be a preparatory study. Many Nordic painters regarded Bastien-Lepage as their great ideal in French painting. He died of cancer, aged only 36.