Not currently on display at the V&A

Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Macbeth in Macbethby William Shakespeare

Painting
1914 (painted)
Artist/Maker

Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1853-1917) was London's leading actor-manager in the Edwardian era. He built His Majesty's Theatre in London's Haymarket which opened in 1897, and his spectacular productions there became famous for their detailed and realistic settings. Tree himself was celebrated for his ability to transform his features for every different role.

Tree's Macbeth opened on 5 September 1911 at His Majesty's Theatre, with Violet Vanbrugh as Lady Macbeth. The production drew some impressive reviews both for its staging and its leading actor. The Observer 'saw the latest Macbeth subtly indicate each symptom of the growing neurotic disease' and admired 'the breadth of tone and touch with which Sir Herbert, discarding all tricks of speech and mannerisms of pose, rose in voice and bearing to the height of a lofty tragic creation'.

The portrait was painted by Charles Buchel (1872-1950) who had a working relationship with Tree at Her Majesty's Theatre for 16 years. Tree commissioned Buchel to provide illustrations for the lavish souvenir brochures he gave away, to paint murals to decorate Tree's apartment at the theatre, make oil paintings of Tree in character, and design posters for at least 35 productions.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Oil on millboard
Brief Description
Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1853-1917) in the title role of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, His Majesty's Theatre 5 September 1911, oil on canvas 1914, by Charles Buchel (1872-1950).
Dimensions
  • Height: 61cm
  • Width: 48.2cm
Credit line
Copyright Philip Buchel
Subjects depicted
Summary
Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1853-1917) was London's leading actor-manager in the Edwardian era. He built His Majesty's Theatre in London's Haymarket which opened in 1897, and his spectacular productions there became famous for their detailed and realistic settings. Tree himself was celebrated for his ability to transform his features for every different role.



Tree's Macbeth opened on 5 September 1911 at His Majesty's Theatre, with Violet Vanbrugh as Lady Macbeth. The production drew some impressive reviews both for its staging and its leading actor. The Observer 'saw the latest Macbeth subtly indicate each symptom of the growing neurotic disease' and admired 'the breadth of tone and touch with which Sir Herbert, discarding all tricks of speech and mannerisms of pose, rose in voice and bearing to the height of a lofty tragic creation'.



The portrait was painted by Charles Buchel (1872-1950) who had a working relationship with Tree at Her Majesty's Theatre for 16 years. Tree commissioned Buchel to provide illustrations for the lavish souvenir brochures he gave away, to paint murals to decorate Tree's apartment at the theatre, make oil paintings of Tree in character, and design posters for at least 35 productions.
Bibliographic Reference
Ashton, Geoffrey. Catalogue of Paintings at the Theatre Museum, London. ed. James Fowler, London : Victoria and Albert Museum, 1992. 224p. ill. ISBN 1851771026
Collection
Accession Number
S.217-1987

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record createdNovember 6, 2003
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