Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends

Reporter: Philip Fisher

Dateline: 25th April, 2015

Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends

Anyone with a love of theatre and within reach of London should rush along to the National Portrait Gallery to enjoy this exhibition of paintings by John Singer Sargent.

The artistry is stunning, which would be a good enough reason to spend a little time mooching around.

However, those with an interest in theatre will also be excited by many of the subjects.

Sargent seems to have had a liking for the arts and particularly the world of theatre. As a result, this exhibition, which inevitably features the incomparable portrait of Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth, together with another on the same subject, goes far further.

In addition, there is an opportunity to commune with Italian legend Eleonora Duse, Mrs Patrick Campbell (with Gabriel Fauré), W B Yeats and Harley Granville Barker.

From the far side of the Atlantic, Edwin Booth and Lawrence Barrett both take their places alongside Ada Rehan.

Stepping into the wider world of literature, Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry James and Edmund Gosse are also to be seen staring down from the walls of the gallery.

While you are visiting, do take the opportunity to pop around the corner to the National Gallery for its spectacular Inventing Impressionism exhibition. It may not have any specific theatrical themes but so much on show, including Renoirs, Monets and Manets, is stunningly beautiful.                                                                                     

It runs at the National Portrait Gallery until 25 May.