Sarah Bernhardt, Dark Spirit
Sarah had the great charm of not only being a lively sprite, indulging fully in what life presented to her; she also seemed to take great pleasure in darker delights.
Many may be familiar with her magnificent inkstand, fashioned in her likeness; a sphinx eager to devour the hearts of men, bearing upon her shoulder emblems of her craft, Tragedy & Comedy.
Self portrait as Sphinx
artist: Sarah Bernhardt
Not only gifted on stage but the studio as well, gotta love the gal.
As a boy I encountered this image of Sarah in her coffin. any devotee of the Divine One knows the image, but I never tire of it. Evidently neither did her public, it was wildly popular.
Sarah Bernhardt posing in her coffin
albumen print cabinet card
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
I love the inclusion of her portrait bust , she is the artist of course.
ca. 1878 Sarah Bernhardt
Museé d’ Orsay
As an actress she of course excelled at Tragedy, here she is as the great Elizabeth encountering Essex, having had ordered his execution. You don’t get more dramatic then this, her hand wailing- I can totally relate …
Sadly all the play acting came to an end, we only have bits of brittle film to remember her by.