Sarah Bernhardt–1860


Here is the great tragedienne, Sarah Bernhardt, at a mere 16 years of age, yet already beautiful and imperious. Of all the photographs taken of the great lady, RT freely admits that the only ones he really likes are by Felix Nadar, who had a remarkable gift for portrait photography; he brought out the inner person. To RT’s sensibilities, the Divine Sarah at her best manifested a classical beauty, worthy of Sappho’s poetry (or Racine‘s theater, for that matter). As France struggled through the final states of its extended Revolution (which from RT’s view, ended with the establishment of the Third Republic in 1870). RT feels that this period (or even SB herself) has something to teach us contemporaries as we struggle with the problems of a mostly unrestrained international arena. We also are lurching towards a resolution of social and political revolution (in our case, initiated in the 1960’s). A world government charged with controlling climate change, eliminating nuclear weaponry, protecting and feeding refugee populations, and requiring political negotiations before a war breaks out? May the memory of Ms. Bernhardt guide us in the right direction…  RT


RT’s Related Posts: 1) Empress Eugenie’s Diadem.

PhotoSarah Bernhardt in the Role of Junie in “Britannicus” by Jean Racine (c. 1860). Felix Nadar. WikiCmns; Public Domain.


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