Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Drawing
  • Drawing
    Colman Smith, Pamela, born 1878 - died 1951
  • Enlarge image

Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    probably 1903 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour and ink on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Gabrielle Enthoven Collection

  • Museum number:

    S.211-2008

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Ellen Terry made her first success as Portia in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice in the Bancrofts' production at London's Prince of Wales's Theatre in 1876. After she played it again, with Henry Irving's company at the Lyceum Theatre in 1879, it became one of her most famous roles. As the American critic William Winter wrote: 'Ellen Terry embodied Portia... the essential womanliness of that character was for the first time in the modern theatre adequately interpreted and portrayed'. This portrait was probably painted after Ellen Terry took the role in an all-star production at Drury Lane Theatre, 14 July 1903, with Henry Irving as Shylock.

The artist Pamela Colman-Smith was born in London to the American merchant, Charles Edward Smith, and his Jamaican wife, Corinne. Her father's job meant frequent trips abroad and, after the death of her mother when she was ten, she joined the Lyceum Theatre out of a desire for company. Her experience of touring theatre was to influence her later work. She studied art in Brooklyn from 1893 until 1899 but returned to England in 1899 where she became a designer and illustrator, most notably of the Rider-Waite-Smith pack of tarot cards and of theatrical subjects.

Physical description

Indian ink and wash drawing of Ellen Terry as Portia in The Merchant of Venice, wearing red robes and hat, standing in front of a patterned curtain, her left hand down by her side holding a scroll, her right hand raised. Inscribed beneath the image by Ellen Terry: '"It must not be. There is no power in Venice / Can alter a decree established "Portia" Ellen Terry'. Signed lower left with the intertwined initials PCS, the monogram of Pamela Colman Smith.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (painted)

Date

probably 1903 (painted)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour and ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'"It must not be. There is no power in Venice / Can alter a decree established "Portia" Ellen Terry'.
Inscribed beneath the image by Ellen Terry:

PCS
Artist's monogram. Signed lower left

Dimensions

Height: 27.0 cm, Width: 18.2 cm

Descriptive line

Ellen Terry (1847-1928) as Portia in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Indian ink and wash by Pamela Colman Smith (1878-1951)

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Drawings

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.