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Ellen Terry

  • Object:

    Bust

  • Place of origin:

    London (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1917 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lindner, Doris (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaster cast

  • Credit Line:

    Accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996

  • Museum number:

    S.1058-1996

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Public access description

    This bust represents the great actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928) as Camma in Alfred Lord Tennyson's play The Cup. She first played the role at the Lyceum Theatre on 3 January 1881 to Henry Irving's Synorix. As usual Irving spared no expense on the production, and although it was praised for its lavish settings and costumes, critics regretted that the Poet Laureate had not written a more coherent play. Ellen Terry however was praised for her performance and her appearance, and the critic Henry Labouchère in the magazine Truth applauded her 'skill in giving life to drapery', calling her 'this graceful and picturesque creature....the embodiment of the aspirations of modern art'.

    In her memoirs Ellen Terry recalled her dresses for the role as 'simple, fine and free' - 'designed by Mr. Godwin, one of them the toga made of that wonderful material which Arnott had printed'. Ellen Terry was first employed by Sir Henry Irving at the Lyceum Theatre in 1878; she was his leading lady until 1902 and their on-stage partnership became one of the most famous in the history of the theatre.

  • Physical description

    Plaster bust of Ellen Terry in her costume as Camma in The Cup, looking straight in front of her, wearing a Classical draped toga and close-fitting head covering.

  • Marks and inscriptions

    'ET'
    Stylised letters, incised on the front of the base

    'Doris Lindner 1917'
    Incised on the base.

  • Dimensions

    Height: 26.0 cm approximately, Width: 16.0 cm maximum, across her shoulders, Depth: 10.3 cm of base, Width: 13.0 cm of base

  • Descriptive line

    Bust of Ellen Terry (1847-1928) as Camma in The Cup by Alfred Lord Tennyson, Lyceum Theatre 3 January 1881. Plaster of Paris by Doris Lindner (1896-1979), dated 1917

  • Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

    Ellen Terry My Life, 1908

  • Collection code

    Theatre and Performance Collection