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Artist: Sir William Nicholson
English (1872-1942)
Also known as Beggarstaff along with James Pryde, Scottish (1866-1941)
Plate: NP. 03
Title: Eleonora Duse

Description: Condition A. Original colour lithograph from "Twelve Portraits" Second series, published by William Heinemann, London 1902.

Presented in 16 x 20 in. acid free, archival museum mat, with framing labels. Ready to frame. Shipped boxed flat via Fedex.
Certificate of Authenticity.
See our Terms of Sale

Sheet Size: 9 7/8 in x 10 1/14 in
  25 cm x 26 cm
Price: temporarily out of stock

(Like many of my most sought after images I am usually able to locate this for clients. email me for a price estimate, Greg) To Request



Eleonora Duse (1858-1924), Italian actress, was born of a family of actors, and by 1885 she was recognized at home as Italy's greatest actress, and this verdict was confirmed by that of all the leading cities of Europe and America. In 1893 she made her first appearances in New York and in London. Some of her greatest successes during the 1880s and early 1890s, the days of her chief triumphs, were in Italian versions of such plays as "La Dame aux camélias" in which Sarah Bernhardt was already famous. Madame Duse's reputation as an actress was founded less on her "creations" than on her magnificent individuality. In contrast to the great French actress she avoided all "make-up". Her art depended on intense naturalness rather than on stage effect, sympathetic force or poignant intellectuality rather than the theatrical emotionalism of the French tradition. Her dramatic genius gave a new reading to the parts, and during these years the admirers of the two leading actresses of Europe practically constituted two rival schools of appreciation. Ill-health kept Madame Duse off the stage for some time; but though, after 1900, it was no longer possible for her to avoid "make-up," her rank among the greatest actresses of history remained undisputable. (This article was originally published in Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, Volume VIII. Anonymous. Cambridge: University Press, 1911. p. 712.)

"Nicholson did this image just after his
association with James Pryde as The Beggarstaff Brothers had come to an end. But his revolutionary approach to design which marked the Beggarstaff posters, found further expression in the small-scale woodcuts on which he then concentrated.

William Nicholson's woodblock prints of the 1890's were amongst the most revolutionary British print images of the era. They used a treatment of form, with a stylized simplification of shape, and a handling of perspective and picture space which had had no precedent in British art. Influences of Japanese art, and a parallel thinking to, if not a direct knowledge of, the ideas of Toulouse Lautrec and of the Nabis painters in Paris at the same period can certainly be felt, although there is no record that Nicholson had actually studied either at this date." (Weston)

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