The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Sarah Bernhardt

Sarah Bernhardt

A cabinet card portrait of Sarah Bernhardt (1845-1923), seen here dressed as Hamlet.

Born in Paris, the illegitimate daughter of a Hungarian Jewish immigrant, Sarah Bernhardt was the stage name of Rosine Bernard (1845-1923), the French actress who dominated the stage of her day. She was neither the most beautiful nor the most talented, but she skilfully cultivated her super-stardom, performing at the Comédie Française in Paris and frequently touring the world. The Divine Sarah excelled in tragic roles, including Cordelia in King Lear, the title role in Racine's Phèdre, and the male roles of Hamlet and of Napoleon's son in Edmond Rostand's L'Aiglon.

Photographed by Lafayette of London and branches.


Code: 125301
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© Paul Frecker 2019