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HomeNewsResiding statues Acquire US

Residing statues Acquire US

A 12 months in the past, in August, I wrote about two of my great-great grand-aunts, Alice Moore née Mainwaring (1852-1878) and Julia Wilkinson née Mainwaring (1857-1907), who in 1874 appeared in Shakespearean tableaux vivant, static ‘residing photos’ with stay fashions.

Miss Alice Mainwaring of Whitmore appeared as Portia from ‘The Merchant of Venice’ in tableaux organized by James Sant, a Royal Academy portraitist. Julia Mainwaring appeared as Juliet in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ tableaux organized by Edward Matthew Ward, also a member of the Royal Academy. In April 1874 Alice was 21 and Julia was 17.

In the present day I used to be contacted with extra details about these tableaux by a researcher with the ‘Shakespeare in the Royal Collection’, a project funded by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). This venture considerations the Shakespeare-related holdings of the Royal Assortment, primarily from the interval 1714-1945.

The tableaux staged in 1874 had been photographed by Alexander Bassano (1829-1913), a society photographer of the late nineteenth century. There are twenty-eight albumen prints of these tableaux in the Royal Collection.

The Shakespearean tableaux vivants had been carried out on 21 and 22 April 1874 in a small theatre at Cromwell House in South Kensington, the house of Charles James and Eliza Freake, to boost cash for the Nationwide Orphan Dwelling and the Victoria Hospital for Sick Kids. The scenes had been introduced by famous artists, together with the Pre-Raphaelite John Everett Millais. There was music too, with authentic compositions by Arthur Sullivan. Henry Irving gave dramatic recitations. The visitors of honour had been the Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, and the newly-wed Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred and his spouse the Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia.

The album of prints got here into the Royal Assortment from the gathering of Prince Alfred, fairly doubtless introduced to him as a memento of the occasion to which he and his spouse had given their patronage.

Scene from The Service provider of Venice: “What discover I right here, truthful Portia’s counterfeit.”

A bunch of 4 performers recreating a scene from The Service provider of Venice, Act 3, scene 2. They’re Alice Mainwaring as Portia, Sarah Fanny Sant as Nerissa, Arthur Ram as Bassanio and Alfred J. de Sterne as Gratiano. The tableau depicts the second when Bassanio efficiently passes the casket check by finding Portia’s miniature. Bassanio is on one knee, learning the miniature; Portia stands behind him along with her palms clasped, maybe in prayer, whereas Gratiano and Nerissa observe. Like the opposite tableaux on this set, this scene contains some elaborate early trendy costumes, however this scene makes use of a backdrop and furnishings resembling a Victorian inside, and Portia’s costume combines a combination of Victorian and Renaissance fashions.

Scene from The Service provider of Venice: “This home, these servants and this similar myself are yours, my lord”

A bunch of 4 performers recreating a scene from The Service provider of Venice, Act 3, scene 2. They’re Alice Mainwaring as Portia, Sarah Fanny Sant as Nerissa, Arthur Ram as Bassanio and Alfred J. de Sterne as Gratiano. The caption directs main consideration to Bassanio and Portia on the appropriate hand facet: Bassanio is on one knee, holding Portia’s palms and evidently proposing marriage. To the left, Gratiano and Nerissa are apparently engaged in a special sort of negotiation: Gratiano leans in eagerly, one hand rested on Nerissa’s shoulder, whereas she recoils and fends him off with each palms.

Scene from The Service provider of Venice: “How far that little candle throws its beam…”

Sarah Fanny Sant and Alice Mainwaring posing as Nerissa and Portia from The Service provider of Venice Act 5, scene 1. Each figures are elaborately costumed; Portia wears a voluminous travelling cloak and Nerissa is clutching a guide. Portia gestures in the direction of the left of the body. Behind the figures, a trompe-l’oeil backdrop portrays the outside of a giant home.

These three tableaux had been ‘organized’ by the Royal Academician James Sant, who was well-known for his portraits of ladies and kids.

The Day by day Telegraph of 21 April 1874 reported: “In Mr. Sant’s scenes from “The Service provider of Venice” the colouring is as soon as extra best, and there can be reward in retailer for the Portia of Miss Alice Mainwaring of Whitmore, and the simplest Jessica of Miss Tennant.”

Scene from Romeo and Juliet: “Do thou however shut our palms with holy phrases”

G.V. Boyle, Julia Mainwaring and Colonel Henry Armytage posing as Romeo, Juliet and Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet Act 2, scene 6—the marriage scene. The younger lovers kneel dealing with each other and holding palms, whereas the friar stands over them together with his palms over them in blessing. All three figures put on sixteenth-century costume. Behind them, a trompe-l’oeil backdrop suggests the inside of a stone constructing, with daylight beaming by means of a window.

Scene from Romeo and Juliet: “Take thou this phial”

Julia Mainwaring and Colonel Henry Armytage posing as Juliet and Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet Act 4, scene 1. Juliet sits on a bench, one hand clutched to her chest in alarm, because the friar, standing, passes her the potion that may enable her to look lifeless.

The Day by day Telegraph commented “An innovation has been instructed by Mr. E. M. Ward, R.A., by clothes his Juliet in startling colors of inexperienced and orange, as a substitute of the traditional white satin: however the scenes from the well-known play had been heartily applauded and appreciated.”

These two tableaux had been ‘organized’ by the Royal Academician Edward Matthew Ward, an artist specialising in historic and style portray. He had painted two photos of scenes from Romeo and Juliet and the tableaux reproduced these work.

I’m happy to have extra details about these tableaux and the pictures so as to add to my posts of August final 12 months.

Associated posts and additional studying

  • Shakespearean Tableaux enacted at Cromwell Home, 1874, within the presence of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh; photographed by Alexander Bassano: album in the Royal Collection Trust
  • “Shakespearian Tableaux at Cromwell Home.” Day by day Telegraph, 21 Apr. 1874, p. 5. The Telegraph Historic Archive
  • “SHAKSPERIAN TABLEAUX AT CROMWELL HOUSE.” Morning Publish, 22 Apr. 1874, p. 6. British Library Newspapers
  • “Shakespearian Tableaux.” Instances, 23 Apr. 1874, p. 7. The Instances Digital Archive
  • “TABLEAUX VIVANTS AT SOUTH KENSINGTON.” Period, 26 Apr. 1874. British Library Newspapers

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