On December 9, 1896, a feast was prepared at the Grand Hotel in Paris in honor of Sarah Bernhardt. This is the menu from the event, showcasing a host of delectable treats, including a cake named after the actress.
"Sarah Bernhardt was a world-famous tragedian who enjoyed huge success on the stage between the 1880s and 1920s. She was director of the Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris from 1893 to 1899, and Victor Hugo dubbed her "the Golden Voice". On 9 December 1896, the theatre paid tribute to this exceptional actress by staging a "Sarah Bernhardt Day " a sumptuous dinner at the Grand Hôtel de Paris, followed by a gala at the theatre. The artists, management and staff of the theatre presented her with this bronze bust during the celebrations.
Numerous sculptors have produced busts of Sarah Bernhardt, but this particular one by René Lalique (French 1860-1945) shows how versatile an artist he was, venturing beyond the jewellery and glass creations for which he is most famous." (musee-lalique.com) Sarah Bernhardt ca.1864 (Photo by Nadar). Alphonse Mucha ca.1890 (The Mucha Trust).
"The Parisian actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) was the single most influential figure in Mucha’s life as an artist. It was his first poster for her,Gismonda, that made him famous and he grew both as a man and an artist through his professional collaboration and friendship with the greatest stage personality of the era.
Mucha met Sarah Bernhardt for the first time in late 1894. Legend says that on St. Stephen’s Day (26thDecember) Mucha, then a humble illustrator, was doing a favour for a friend, correcting proofs at Lemercier’s printing workshop, when the actress called the printer with an immediate demand for a new poster for her production ofGismonda. All the regular Lemercier artists were on holiday, so Mucha was turned to in desperation. Despite his lack of experience in designing posters, Mucha grabbed this opportunity and, to his own amazement, ‘La divine Sarah’ loved his work." (Mucha Foundation)
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