During the Georgian period there was a remarkable proliferation of seductive visual imagery and written accounts of female performers. Focusing on the close relationship between the dramatic and visual arts at this time, this beautiful and stimulating book explores popular ideas of the actress as coquette, whore, celebrity, muse, and creative agent, charting her important symbolic role in contemporary attempts to professionalize both the theatre and the practice of fine art. Gill Perry shows how artists such as Gainsborough, Reynolds, Hoppner or Lawrence produced complex images of female performers as fashion icons, coquettes, dignified queens or creative artists. The result is a rich interdisciplinary study of the Georgian actress.
Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art