'Sarah Bernhardt', 1890.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photographic portrait of French theatre and film actres Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), taken by W & D Downey. Bernhardt, dresed in elaborate costume, stands with left hand on her hip, a backdrop of theatre scenery behind her. The most celebrated actres of her day, Victor Hugo said she had a 'golden voice'. In addition to acting, she wrote her autobiography and founded the Sarah Bernhardt Theatre in Paris. Her image was used widely in advertising. This photograph appears in 'The Cabinet Portrait Gallery' series of celebrity portraits and biographies published in the 1890s. The series includes royalty, actors, academics and authors.