The Last Painting Sarah Bernhardt

Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.”

Sarah Bernhardt

Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt.  oil on canvas, signed b.l.: G. Clairin. / .1876

 

December 31, 2019 – the last painting in my 2019 page-a-day Gallery Calendar.  How appropriate that it should be a portrait of the flamboyant French stage actress, Sarah Bernhardt.  The artist was Georges Jules Victor Clairin.  Georges and Sarah’s friendship spanned 50 years.

“Once the curtain is raised, the actor ceases to belong to himself. He belongs to his character, to his author, to his public. He must do the impossible to identify himself with the first, not to betray the second, and not to disappoint the third.”

Sarah Bernhardt

What I enjoy most about art is where it leads me, unusually on the pathway to an adventure.  The confident woman, relaxing on a luxuriant sofa with a dog sitting close by, has a story to tell.  What a life she led. At ten, she declared that she would become a nun, but had difficulty following convent rules, a foreshadowing of future events.  Bold, audacious, eccentric (she studied her roles in a coffin), Georges Clairin captured it all in this painting.  What I did not know was that Sarah Bernhardt moonlighted as a sculptor.

I have just added a book to my 2020 reading list:  The Art of the Theatre, by Sarah Bernhardt.

“I have not written this book to attract young people to the dramatic art but to give them friendly advice and guide them by my experience.

Sarah Bernhardt.

 

14 Comments »

      • It’s a great reminder! I never for one moment thought I would design costumes for film & TV and work with famous people, but it happened. Now, it’s my time for me to do my art, and of all the things, I wound up doing Art Gowns. I never had so much fun, and peaceful Zen time.
        I’m just over on TT&T.
        I need to make some tea, before I listen! See ya soon!

    • Oh yes – I’m with you on this. The more I read about Sarah Bernhardt, the more I recognize a kindred spirit. I just found “The Art of the Theatre” by Sarah Bernhardt to add to my ever-growing stack of books to read in 2020. I am grateful for the extra day in February. I will be using it wisely.

  1. I recognized the painting immediately as I opened this post, the last painting in our 2019 Art Calendar–and what a joy it was. Now, into the new year, 2020. I think the painting is encouraging us to read the book you mentioned (What is this about studying in a coffin) it should be excellent. The quote you included indicates a look into her life and what she has to say should be significant.

Leave a Reply to ernstblumenstein Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.