John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), the celebrated portrait painter, painted High Society in Paris, London, Boston and New York.
His circle of artists and friends is impressive and there is much to enjoy and admire in the exhibition.
The actors include: Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth in a striking costume; the great Edwin Booth, ready to play a tragic and gaunt role; the indomitable Ada Rehan, famed for her Taming of the Shrew; the lovely American Mary Anderson; and the charismatic Duse, Bernhardt’s great rival.
Other favourites include: the dandy W Graham Robertson in a long coat looking like perfect casting for Dorian Gary (“the coat is the picture,” said Sargent); the scandalously available Madame X (quelle dėbacle); the exotic, arrogant Carmentica looks all set to cause a lot of trouble; the towering Dr Pozi at Home (looking very Renaissance and papal in scarlet robe); and the so-very-sweet mixture of Impressionism and Pre-Raphaelite in the girly, lantern-lit, ever-popular Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose.
The exhibition runs until 25 May, 2015.