Actress, artist, painter, sculptor, emblematic figure of the 19th and 20th centuries, Sarah Bernhardt is the protagonist of the new exceptional exhibition at the Petit Palais. You will be able to admire one of her most beautiful portraits, painted by her friend Georges Clairin, as well as many sculptures created by the “Divine” herself.
Through more than 400 works of art, you will be able to explore the life and brilliant career of the actress who still fascinates us even after a century of her death.
The greatest roles she played, which made her a triumph on stages all over the world, will be honoured with a collection of photographs, period posters and the original stage costumes she wore on stage. It will also be a unique opportunity to learn more about the works of mythical playwrights such as Racine, Victor Hugo and Shakespeare, who represented the literary universe of the time and whose important influences can be found in contemporary literature.
For Victor Hugo, Sarah Bernhardt was a true “Golden Voice”, as he himself defined her, and he is not the only one who found in this incredible woman a unique power. Indeed, throughout her life, Sarah Bernhardt collaborated with many renowned artists, such as Alfons Mucha, the painter Gustave Doré, the musician Reynaldo Hahn and more.
Vocal and video recordings will allow you to discover or rediscover the undeniable beauty of this multi-talented star's voice, as well as her very atypical long silhouette, which contributed to making her a muse for her public and for the artists of her time.
Carefully preserved excerpts from her most memorable performances allow the most passionate theatre-goers to immerse themselves in the spellbinding atmosphere of her performances. In addition, period documents, such as letters and performance reviews, provide valuable insight into his relationship with the press and public of the time.
A large part of the exhibition will also be dedicated to the lesser-known aspects of this great woman's personal life, such as her artistic talents as a painter, writer and, above all, sculptor. Numerous photos showing her at work, during the realization of her works, will allow you to dive into her life as an artist and to discover this important facet of her personality.
Sarah Bernhardt was a woman with an indomitable personality. She was always modern and eccentric. A selection of her personal objects, her wardrobe, her interior, will testify to her unusual tastes and avant-garde interests.
Her personal life, tumultuous love affairs and family relationships are told with sensitivity and help create a profound story of a woman who was able to master her destiny.
Sarah Bernhardt is an unprecedented artist, a true star. It was especially for her that Jean Cocteau coined the definition “sacred monster”, which is now part of our everyday language and refers to an untouchable personality, halfway between the human and divine dimensions.
The Petit Palais offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in an extraordinary life and to be inspired by a woman who turned her talents into an incredible story.
Exhibition until the 27/08/2023. Open every dai except Monday from 10am to 6pm.
Photo ©Creative Commons