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Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923)

Autoportrait en Chimere signed & dated 1880

Bronze | 31.0 x 33.3 x 29.5 cm (whole object) | RCIN 7275

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The French actress Sarah Bernhardt practised sculpture and painting alongside her better-known skills on the stage. This bronze depicts her as a chimera, or sphinx, possibly as a comment on her best-known role by this date, Berthe de Savigny in Octave Feuillet's Sphinx. The use of a mythological creature is also an allusion to her exaggeratedly dramatic stage roles and aspects of her personal life. This bronze was likely presented to the future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra by the actress, as a token of the friendship which developed during her first London appearances.
  • Creator(s)

    Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) (sculptor)

    Thiebaut Freres (founder (metals))

    France (nationality)

  • 31.0 x 33.3 x 29.5 cm (whole object)

  • Autoportrait en Chauve-Souris

  • Presented by the artist to Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales. Visible in the Study at Marlborough House in a photograph taken during the 1890s RCIN 2101969

    • Artists