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Mr John Kemble

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    01/06/1800 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Beechey, William RA (Sir), born 1753 - died 1839 (Artist)
    Roberts, Piercy (Engravers)
    Symonds, Henry Delahoy (Publishers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraving, printed ink on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Harry R. Beard Collection, given by Isobel Beard.

  • Museum number:

    S.1419-2013

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Born in 1757, John Philip Kemble was one of the twelve children of the strolling actor-manager Roger Kemble, all of whom took to the stage. In preparation for a career in the Church, he was educated at a Jesuit college in Douai in northern France from 1771 until 1775, but on his return embarked upon a stage career, possibly influenced by the success of his elder sister, the great actress Sarah Siddons.

J. P. Kemble went on to become a stately, formal actor best-known for his interpretation of heavily dramatic roles including Hamlet, Brutus, Cato, Rolla and Coriolanus. It is said that he was never suited for comedy and that even in his most convivial moods he was 'solemn and funereal'. He managed both the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and Covent Garden where he caused the Old Price Riots by raising the price of admission to pay for rebuilding after the fire of 1808. He made several important reforms at Drury Lane Theatre, both in management and in costumes and scenery, and controversially introduced spectacular shows there featuring live animals and aquatic effects. His years of management were not considered a financial success. He died in Lausanne in 1823.

Physical description

Print 'of John Philip Kemble engraved by Piercy Roberts, from a painting by Sir William Beechey, published by H.D. Symonds, Paternoster Row, June 1800, Harry Beard Collection

Place of Origin

London (published)

Date

01/06/1800 (published)

Artist/maker

Beechey, William RA (Sir), born 1753 - died 1839 (Artist)
Roberts, Piercy (Engravers)
Symonds, Henry Delahoy (Publishers)

Materials and Techniques

Engraving, printed ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Mr John Kemble'
Printed below portrait

Dimensions

Height: 14 cm, Width: 8.5 cm

Descriptive line

John Philip Kemble (1757-1823). Engraving by Piercy Roberts, from the 1789-1799 painting by Sir William Beechey, published by H.D. Symonds, London, 1 June 1800, Harry Beard Collection

Materials

Printing ink; Paper

Techniques

Print-making; Engraving

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Prints

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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