Biographical account of Sarah Bernhardt and Ellen Terry.
This paper provides a biography of actresses, Sarah Bernhardt and Ellen Terry, as well as a description of their characters and personalities. The paper goes on to discuss the typical image held of female actresses during the Victorian era and the origin, evolution, and impact of the pin-up, as well as how actresses of the Victorian era manipulated the photographic images to their advantage.
“Through the use of visual imagery to promote their theatrical identities, female performers in the mid-19th century shifted these personae from the relative isolation of the stage to mass media and popular culture. Both the burlesque tradition and the photographic “pin-up” originated in this period – and the pin-up genre was utilized and manipulated by actresses in the realm of the burlesque. As representations of female performers who explored pointedly sexual roles (both on- and offstage) between a binary cultural construction, many of these early pin-ups can be read as a parallel to and inspiration for some of the more transgressive and unabashedly feminist uses and readings of the genre today.”