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Lithograph - Print Collection
  • Print Collection
    Colman Smith, Pamela, born 1878 - died 1951
  • Enlarge image

Print Collection

  • Object:

    Lithograph

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (possibly, drawn)

  • Date:

    1903 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Colman Smith, Pamela, born 1878 - died 1951 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    paint and ink on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Gabrielle Enthoven Collection

  • Museum number:

    S.1414-2010

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

A lithograph showing the actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928) as she appeared in the role of Hiördis in The Vikings by Henrik Ibsen. It was originally drawn by the artist Pamela Colman Smith (1877-1925) and is signed and dated 1903.

This production was mounted at the Imperial Theatre in April of 1903. Following the end of her long stage partnership with Henry Irving, Ellen Terry took on the lease of the Imperial Theatre where she intended to produce plays in conjunction with her son, the artist, designer and director, Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966). The Vikings was the first play they attempted and featured a set and lighting scheme designed by Gordon Craig and costumes designed and made by her daughter Edith Craig (1869-1947). Unfortunately for Terry the production proved a financial disaster and was criticised for its 'gloomy' lighting and the miscasting of the 'gay and bright' Terry as the warlike and vengeful Hiördis. Yet despite the fact that Terry was forced to undertake a series of provincial tours to recover the money she had lost, she was proud of her attempt and declared in her memoirs:

"I hope it will be remembered, when I am spoken of by the youngest critics after my death as a "Victorian" actress, lacking in enterprise, an actress belonging to the "old school," that I produced a spectacular play of Ibsen's in a manner which possibly anticipated the scenic ideas of the future by a century, of which at any rate the orthodox theatre managers of the present age would not have dreamed."

Both Terry's children went on to forge successful careers connected with the theatre. Gordon Craig established a reputation as a prolific and revolutionary theorist, designer and director of theatre as well as an innovative visual artist and publisher. His sister Edith Craig began her career as a costumier, and later became an influential theatre director, producing a series of plays in support of the suffragette movement.

Physical description

A full length coloured lithograph showing the actress Ellen Terry as she appeared in the role of Hiördis. She is dressed in a floor length gown decorated in vertical stripes of blue and green with gold. She wears a heavy fur cape and carries a long spear in her right hand. On her head she wears a silver headdress and a wig with thick blond plaits. She is shown standing on a rocky outcrop against a black backdrop.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (possibly, drawn)

Date

1903 (drawn)

Artist/maker

Colman Smith, Pamela, born 1878 - died 1951 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

paint and ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Ellen Terry'
Signature of Ellen Terry, in bottom right hand of original print. Possibly in ink, though may have been printed.

'Imperial, April 15th, 1903'
Handwritten pencil annotation bottom right hand corner.

Dimensions

Height: 34.1 cm, Width: 22.6 cm

Descriptive line

A lithograph showing the actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928) as she appeared in the role of Hiördis in The Vikings by Henrik Ibsen. It was originally drawn by the artist Pamela Colman Smith (1877-1925) and is signed and dated 1903.

Materials

Ink; Paper

Techniques

Printing; Lithograph

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Prints

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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